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McPhee on Karl Alzner: 'He's shown us enough'

Here are some items of interest from a conversation I had with GM George McPhee in Hershey:

*McPhee watched at least two of the Calder Cup finals games in person and TiVo'd the ones in Texas. As he and his staff refine their game plan for the offseason, job No. 1, he said, has been to identify the Bears who are ready, or are on the cusp of being ready, for a promotion.

"I don't want to talk about anyone individually because you want everyone to be hungry when they come to camp," he said. "But the expectation is that three or four players here are going to be on our team next year."

*When I asked McPhee if he had any reservations about going into next season with a pair of 22-year-olds as his goaltenders, he hesitated. I quoted him in Monday's paper as saying, "That's part of the debate."

One has to wonder if that's McPhee's way of keeping Neuvirth "hungry." Neuvirth is a player who had to be pushed early on to ramp up his fitness and focus.

*That said, McPhee also wouldn't completely rule out veteran Jose Theodore, who is a pending unrestricted free agent.

Last week, Theodore's agent told me the Caps had not made any effort to discuss an extension with the veteran goalie. When I asked McPhee to confirm that Theodore won't be brought back, he balked. "Not yet," is all he would say when asked if he planned to reach out to Theodore's agent, Don Meehan. "We haven't made a final decision."

*This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but McPhee pretty much said both John Carlson and Karl Alzner will be full-timers in Washington next season.

"He's shown us enough," McPhee said of Alzner, who scored a huge goal in the first period of Monday's Calder Cup-clinching win and was a rock on the blue line. "He could have been in the NHL last year. But the way our team was playing last year, we didn't want to tinker with the chemistry too much and we thought he would be better off if we kept him playing. He's a guy we expect to be in Washington."

*McPhee also said (as I tweeted yesterday) that the Winter Classic uniforms are completed. He's seen them and is pleased. "I like them a lot, very well done," is all he would say.

He did, however, confirm what I reported on Monday: No white shorts.

*Pending unrestricted free agent Eric Belanger, whom the Caps acquired at the trade deadline, is still on the team's radar. "We're talking a little bit," McPhee said. I didn't get the impression that anything is close.

*McPhee also said the team has talked to defenseman Shaone Morrisonn, another pending UFA. Again, I did not get the impression that the Caps are in any hurry to re-sign him or even that he's a lock to be coming back.

"There's been some discussion," McPhee said. "We have to use all the time we have time we have to really analyze what we think we're going to be and what's going on around the league before making any final decisions. Sometimes that comes down to the last week before free agency."

*Bears Coach Mark French was, as you might imagine, highly complimentary of Carlson, Alzner and Neuvirth.

"With Michal, I don't know if there's any more the fella can do," French said. "He's brought this team to the Calder Cup two years in a row. He outplayed arguably the best goalies in the American league and he stands at the top. He's an unbelievable competitor and is ready for another challenge."

"John Carlson has shown that he can play at the NHL level and was able to come back here and be absolutely awesome down the stretch," French added. "And all Karl Alzner did in the finals was leave [Stars prospect] Jamie Benn with two points, two assists. He took [shutting down Benn] as a mandate and his job. Karl Alzner can do that for me for 20 years in the NHL."

*Finally, the league's buyout period opened on Monday and I'm told the Caps do not plan to exercise that option on Michael Nylander. It appears more likely that the team will pay his $3 million salary next season but will make sure it doesn't count against the salary cap by assigning him to Europe (again) or sending him to Hershey. Either way, the process should be easier for the team this summer since his no-movement clause evaporates.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  June 16, 2010; 11:59 AM ET
 
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Comments

TSN is reporting that Corvo and Walker will not be back.
Any word from McPhee on that yet?

Posted by: joepar703 | June 16, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"I'm going to disagree with you guys on Bradley. He gets 10+10=20 about each year and, for a UFA vet, that is worth $1M. You can get a cheaper guy for #4RW but you won't get the 10 goals."

Tom,

The problem is that only once has Bradley ever scored 10 goals in his career, this year. He's more of a 5-6 goal guy and that ain't worth 1.0m a year.

Posted by: Steve_R | June 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"And all Karl Alzner did in the finals was leave [Stars prospect] Jamie Benn with two points, two assists. He took [shutting down Benn] as a mandate and his job. Karl Alzner can do that for me for 20 years in the NHL."

Quite complimentary of Alzner. It appears he was the one, not Carlson, who was shutting down Benn. Hopefully he can continue that sort of play with the Caps next year with Carlson as his D partner.

Adding two guys, who are more than likely to both be at least top 4-D men, to the team is a big upgrade.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"Quite complimentary of Alzner. It appears he was the one, not Carlson, who was shutting down Benn."

spoken by someone who apparently didn't watch the whole series. It was Carlson who was laying heavy hits on Benn who in his own right is a very physical player and he wore him down. Every time Benn got the puck Carlson would try and bury him. Of course its never just one player vs another, but if you had to look at head to head battles, it was John Carlson who was upto the physical challenge of containing Benn and not giving him too much room to maneuver.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

found this quick blurb about it. You can say that Alzner is being generous here with his comments, but I think he's right on the money.


Carlson & Alzner vs. Benn

Hershey defensemen John Carlson and Karl Alzner are getting high marks for their role in holding the AHL's playoffs top scorer, Jamie Benn, without a goal in the first give games of the playoff series.

Benn, who had 14 goals and 10 assists in his first 18 playoff games, has two assists in five games against the Bears.

"If you look on the other side - and maybe I have to take some blame for this - they have two defensemen in Carlson and Alzner whose whole game revolves around when Jamie Benn gets on the ice. Those two guys are NHL defensemen. So, it's not easy," said Texas coach Glen Gulutzan. "We'd like to get him away from that matchup as much as we can, but it's tough. They do a good job of managing it. Bennie's been shut down pretty good because those two guys are on the ice."

Alzner is giving most of the credit for the job on Benn to Carlson.

"Benn’s working hard,” Alzner said. “I think Carly is doing a great job on that right side with him. He’s limiting a lot of his opportunities. They both have kind of the same type of build. They’re both young guys who both have that natural strength.”

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"He's shown us enough," McPhee said of Alzner,
---------------------

would you expect him to say anything else? hmm...who drafted Alzner? McPhee will say anything if it serves his own needs. McPhee also said his deadline acquisitions all played very well for his team. Take what he says with a pound of salt. Alzner by no means is a bluechip surefire prospect who'll step right in and look very competent. He's going to have significant issues trying to contain NHL forwards unlike Carlson who has the mobility AND the strength to do it now.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The problem is that only once has Bradley ever scored 10 goals in his career, this year. He's more of a 5-6 goal guy and that ain't worth 1.0m a year.

Posted by: Steve_R | June 16, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I think if Bradley was built stronger (he gets pretty worn down over the season), and he was a better more capable fighter, then his salary could be better justified. A guy like him needs to end a season with about 400 hits and 15 fights at that salary because there are other players at or below that salary who can do that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Dude, after 15 fights Brads would need some transfusions to recover from the blood loss. Gotta love his fire, but the guy doesn't fare too well in his fights.

Posted by: Steve_R | June 16, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Nobody's paying Brads per point. On every shift, he busts tail to lift up his guys and wear down the opposition. $1M for what Bradley brings isn't half bad, especially in a world of $3.5M Potis and hyper-extended Sloans.

Posted by: redlineblue | June 16, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You may have watched more of the series than me because I was not able to watch any of it.

But I am pretty sure Mark French watched more of the series and had a better idea of what was going on than you did. (such as whose job it was to guard Benn since it was French who was getting paid to assign those roles)

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe being a "bleeder" has some saying that Bradley is "not a good fighter", but his courage says a lot about his tolerance for pain. Perhaps an Adamantium procedure (e.g., Wolverine) would make Brads the fighter some say he ought to be.

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 16, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

redline i agree there esp w/regards to what some of our other guys make. I may have overstated my disdain for Brads' salary. Its not bad. But there are players who do more for less, that's my point I s'pose.

I think Brads is really wearing down. Each year he gets less and less physical. That's why I'm always a strong proponent of injecting some new players on the bottom 2 lines every few yrs. Its good to rotate some of those guys out because there's a lot of wear and tear on them and they're not as effective as they once were. You never want your energy guys to play ratcheted down a few notches, defeats the purpose

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

A guy like him needs to end a season with about 400 hits and 15 fights at that salary because there are other players at or below that salary who can do that.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 12:29 PM |

Huh? 400 hits?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 16, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

4th liners by nature of their job description have to work their butts off every shift. They are the muckers and the grinders. Bradley is one of my favorite Caps for his effort day in and day out, but he isn't worth 1.0M for what he brings to the team. Think about how much more the Pens get out of Cooke for 1.2M....

Posted by: Steve_R | June 16, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You do not believe Alzner will be a very good defender in the NHL, which is fine. But you are in the minority with that opinion.

Cleary the Caps and the Bears think very highly of him

Hockeys Future thinks high of him. Hockeys Future is thought of very highly in NHL circles. They have him rated between a future No. 3-4 D man and a future No. 2 D-man. Carlson is rated as a future #2 D-man. He is rated as the Caps 3rd best prospect only behind Varly and Carlson.

Website is below:

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/karl_alzner

Website describing what the ratings mean.

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/playerprojections/

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@joepar703
Tarik reported GMGM saying Corvo and Walker won't be back several days ago.

Posted by: koalatek | June 16, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

The X factor is huge, just look at Weight in NY.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

No comment on Schultz and Jurcina????? Have to think that ShaMo is gone and that they'll sign Jurcina at a lower salary. Blue line depth will be deep again in numbers.

Green
Poti
Carlson
Alzner
Erskine
Sloan are all signed for next year.

Others to be added:
Schultz
ShaMo or Jurcina
#2 Defenseman

Rumor is circulating that Gonchar wants to come back.

I guessing the Varlamov and Neuwirth will be 1 and 1a. Brodeur rumors are crazy! Chicago won cup with Niemi, Caps can win with Varly or Neuvy and save cap money.

Semin's staying but need GMGM needs to get him a true #2 centerman.

Posted by: puckman | June 16, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

So GMGM says 3-4 guys will be up next year. Carlson, Alzner, Neuvy but which forward? Also there should be 1-2 surprises in camp so who makes the cut at center. My money is on MP

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Gonchar rumor is from Eklund also and total crap. He wants a ton of money, why would he not stay in Pitt? He wants top line money and is not what the Caps need. His history with org is just that, history and don't feed me that playing with Ovie crap.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@flee001

Andrew Gordon and Perrault will both be up next year Id think.

Posted by: ThePat | June 16, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You do not believe Alzner will be a very good defender in the NHL, which is fine. But you are in the minority with that opinion.
---------------------------------

pls don't use HockeysFuture as your basis for making an argument. Ever. A few yrs ago they had Jared Aulin near the top of our prospect list. Preceded I think by the great Jonas Johansson. Remember that gem from the Kono deal?

people, we have to learn to think for ourselves, i implore you.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

puckman-

Rumor is circulating that Gonchar wants to come backWhere is the source of this-

Posted by: Riddler1 | June 16, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Pinniz, A. Gordon, and Beagle.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 16, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

re-sign Brads. we already have to many softies. Brads brings some physicality and the 4th line with him on it was one of the Caps more consistent.

Posted by: doughless | June 16, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

And I said before, I'm not dismissing Alzner as a prospect. I don't think he's ready, that is all. At his current strength level, he'll have some significant issues. I mean you can hide any player you want on your blueline and say he's doing well to serve an agenda. But from what I've seen of Alzner, he's not strong enough to do what he needs to do to become a shutdown type defensive dman. There are other players at his age level who are much stronger.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

most of those prospect list on HF are based simply on how high a player was drafted. Period. I could draft the krappiest player in the world and if he was a 1st round draft pick he'll get put up near the top of the HF list.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Goaltending wasn't really the problem the last two years in the playoffs. You might say they scored more goals than us but really to have a goalie with a GAA under 3 - you'd expect to win a series or two or four when your offense leads the league in scoring. We can win with V&N in net.

ShaMo needs to be resigned.

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | June 16, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I am thinking for myself, but it is also very useful to gather information and opinions from other sources before making a final conclusion. Even those that contradict your initial point of view.

@flee01

Of the forwards, I think MP and A. Gordon have the two best shots of making the Caps next year. I think Beagle and Pinner will probably be the first call ups.

@cstanton1

I agree with you on Bradley. He is still a very good role player but $1.0M seems to be a little high for him and he does seem to be losing some of his speed and energy. I would like to see A Gordon on the 4th line with either Beagle or Pinner on the LW.

Since two rookies would be on that line I think it would be important to have a veteran center such as B Gordon or Steckel even though I think both are overpaid(assuming B Gordon gets $1M)

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

here you go, top 20 prospects from 4 yrs ago on HF
You'll notice that the top 7 prospects are all 1st rounders. The next 3 are all 2nd rounders. And most of the rest of that list are all 1st and 2nd rounders. Regardless of how good or bad they are. Gee, that was hard.

1. Alexander Ovechkin, LW
2. Alexander Semin, LW
3. Eric Fehr, RW
4. Steve Eminger, D
5. Shaone Morrisonn, D
6. Jakub Klepis, C
7. Mike Green, D
8. Tomas Fleischmann, LW
9. Chris Bourque, C
10. Maxime Daigneault, G
11. Boyd Gordon, RW
12. Jeff Schultz, D
13. Jonas Johansson, RW
14. Jared Aulin, C
15. Sasha Pokulok, D
16. Joe Finley, D
17. Owen Fussey, RW
18. Sami Lepisto, D
19. Steve Werner, RW
20. Johnny Oduya, D

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Wow, where is Klepis now? Europe?

I gotta believe that Semin w/ MP could be awesome.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

This is a comment by Hockey's Future which had him ranked as the 26th best prospect in the NHL. The rankings occured on March 25th, 2010.

"Now in his second full season of professional hockey, Alzner has spent much of the 2009-10 season shuttling between the Washington Capitals and their AHL affiliate in Hershey. A combination of size, mobility, and smart defensive play, the 21-year-old has all of the tools to be a shutdown defenseman at the NHL level. The only real impediment for him is playing for an extremely deep and talented Capitals organization. Expect Alzner to join the Capitals on a full-time basis as soon this fall."

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Hockey Buzz, Eklund is saying Gonchar to Wash. You will have better luck asking a magic 8 ball ... or doing an 8 ball like Eklund then writing. Total crap.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

and the 3 players we're talking about who deserve promotion - AG SP and Beags, flew below radar because 1 was a late round pick, and the other 2 are grinder types who were FA pickups. In the HF world, those types don't count for much. Their ranking system is also flawed in how they view players. They base it primarily on skill. So they'll give a highly skilled player with many other holes in his game a higher ranking than a solid 3rd line forward prospect who is better equipped to make the jump to the nhl.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

This is a comment by Hockey's Future which had him ranked as the 26th best prospect in the NHL. The rankings occured on March 25th, 2010.

"Now in his second full season of professional hockey, Alzner has spent much of the 2009-10 season shuttling between the Washington Capitals and their AHL affiliate in Hershey. A combination of size, mobility, and smart defensive play, the 21-year-old has all of the tools to be a shutdown defenseman at the NHL level. The only real impediment for him is playing for an extremely deep and talented Capitals organization. Expect Alzner to join the Capitals on a full-time basis as soon this fall."

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

you know when you go to a hospital or a clinic, some doctors are great while other doctors blow? same way with hockey writers. From my experience, the writers for some of the HF teams are decent, and many of the other ones are very lame and simplistic in their analyses. That blurb on Alzner was culled from various sources. There was not an original thought in that analysis.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

now if Alzner was an unheralded 7th round pick with not much literature on him floating around the net, you'd be hard-pressed to find the caps HF writer saying the same things about him. Most of that description of Alzner was verbatim ripped off from his draft bio prior to him even being selected. Its all regurgitation.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Of that list it seems pretty close to being correct from best to worst. Oduya and Klepis being the only big misses.

But no one is saying the rankings are 100%, but the rankings are a very good judge of what people around the league think of the prospects at the time of the rankings.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

How about this ... "With a gritty playoff beard and game to match Alzner is primed to make the jump to full time status with the Washington Capitals giving them the top 4 D pairing they lacked in 2009-10."

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

That Eklund..what a zany guy...XD

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 16, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

copied from last thread!
---------
Flash is really the only realistic asset that could be traded!
Erskine's value in a trade is a throw in to a trade with multiple parts OR maybe a late pick.

This is how I see it going down:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Lombardi-Semin
A.Gordon-Perreault-Fehr
Chimera-B.Gordon-Bradley
Steckel
Bourque

Schultz-Green
D via UFA/trade-Poti
Alzner-Carlson
Sloan

Varlamov-Neuvirth

GMGM rarely loses assets for nothing. Using that logic, Perraeult may not make it as 3rd Center because he's still on his ELC. I personally think he forces the issues and earns it.

Based on above (and Bourque and A.Gordon being resigned) both make the team artly because GMGM doesn't like giving away assets, and mostly because Bourque is better this year and A.Gordon will totally earn a roster spot.

Nuevy will end up #1 by the end of the season!

Flash, Erskine, a prospect, a pick dealt for a solid #2 or 3 D.... I hope

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@jordan_kitts:

Of all the UFA D, Willie Mitchell sounds like a GMGM pickup...

I mean, Pothier's concussion issue was resolved and Mitchell would be cheap considering his issues from last season and probably lack of interest.

that GMGM is a savy feller'... bet he's got Mitchell high on his list!

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Team should have brought up Alzner for the playoffs and passed on acquiring Joe Corvo.

Corvo added none of the defensive zone coverage the team desperately needed against Montreal.

The team went bust on all the pickups made last year during the season except Chimera whom the team acquired in the end straight up for 33 year old Chris Clark.

This club still needs an anchor on defense, a player that has been to the mountain and can be a mentor to Alzner, Carlson, Green and Schultz.

That is going to cost the team something.

McPhee seems reluctant to pull the plug on a trade or major FA signing, but the Blackhawks did just that with Marian Hossa last year and it helped win them a Cup.

Chicago's needs were different than Washington's now but the lesson is the same.

Do what you need to do to win when you have a contender in place. An Ovechkin, Backstrom or Green could get injured at any time and the fortunes of the team could be compromised a bit.

Add the missing pieces NOW and let's get this thing done!

Capitals with all their playoff failures remind me of the 1994 Rangers.

NY admitted they needed to make a strong statement they were going to break the 40 year curse on winning the Cup and went out and acquired Mark Messier, a proven winner and leader.

Washington needs to do the same.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | June 16, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You may end up being correct about Alzner. Only time will tell.

But GMGM strongly believes in him. Mark French strongly believes in him and his ability. HF strongly believes in him. I believe he will be a very good defensive defenseman. You do not believe he will be.

Of those 5 sources, guess which two has the least credibility........

It is me and you.

You are allowed to have your own opinion on Alzner but just admit that most hockey people strongly disagree with you.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

If a team needs to rely on some big name FA signing to win the Cup, then that team has bigger issues preventing it from winning the Cup.

You a Skins fan, huh?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 16, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Of that list it seems pretty close to being correct from best to worst. Oduya and Klepis being the only big misses.

But no one is saying the rankings are 100%, but the rankings are a very good judge of what people around the league think of the prospects at the time of the rankings.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

i guess what i'm saying is, it takes ZERO insight or any realworld hockey analyses skills to put together the type of rankings that HF does. They go according to where a kid was drafted and then they regurgitate the same bio about the kid that's been posted in numerous other places. If you ever watched Klepis, Aulin, Johanson and Pokulok play you'd know (or should know) with your own eyes that neither of them were prospects in any real sense. Steve Werner only made that list because he was a (horrible) 2nd round pick. Gee, how'd they figure out that Pokulok should be one spot ahead of Finley? oh right, because Pokulok was drafted right BEFORE Finley! doh

those HF guys only have credibility because of the HF name. I'd have instant credibility if I wrote for them. So would you. And isn't that a scary thought!

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Roy, who is that proven leader the Caps go out and get? Forsberg? No assets to get him, fills need of experience 2nd line center to help mentor. What about Brindamour, Arnott or Modano?

Point is the experience guy to help mentor and be a 2C, well the guys are old. Most of the choices above are not too far fetched but a few are on purpose. Who is that X factor guy like Feds was?

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3:

"Of that list it seems pretty close to being correct from best to worst. Oduya and Klepis being the only big misses."

Uhhh, what? When you say big misses, do you mean bad rankings? or misses as in bad prospect?

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

How about this ... "With a gritty playoff beard and game to match Alzner is primed to make the jump to full time status with the Washington Capitals giving them the top 4 D pairing they lacked in 2009-10."


That is why I agree with flee.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

I meant they ranked them poorly.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You may end up being correct about Alzner. Only time will tell.

But GMGM strongly believes in him. Mark French strongly believes in him and his ability. HF strongly believes in him. I believe he will be a very good defensive defenseman. You do not believe he will be.
-----------------------------------

i wonder if you have a hard time with reading comprehension. I've said it no less than 2 times today in posts that you have directly responded to, that the major disagreement I have regarding Alzner is the timeline. When I say, I don't think he's got the physical strength now, that does not equate to me saying he's a bust or that he'll never make it. I'm saying, based on what I've seen from him vs a prospect like Carlson (who btw I formed my own opinion on before he even cracked the Caps last yr), that one of them has the requisite strength needed to handle NHL forwards effectively, and one of them does not. Not yet.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

We need to acquire Mark Messier?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 16, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

"With a gritty playoff beard and game to match Alzner is primed to make the jump to full time status with the Washington Capitals giving them the top 4 D pairing they lacked in 2009-10."
--------------

if most HF writers wrote like this, I'd be more inclined to read it. Very entertaining!

or like
"if Chris Bourque ever displayed a Napoleonic complex to its full extent, the short but thick forward w/the shaggy unibrow he inherited from his dad may actually have a decent chance of unseating a checking line forward such as Matt the bleeder Bradley"

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Some of you guys take this stuff really seriously.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 16, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

With Bradley is concerned, having 1 more year on his deal I can see him playing 4th line/healthy scratch. Pinnizotto would be the young replacement for Bradley, adds a younger motor. Can't discount Bradley being one of those glue guys, but this training camp will be the best one yet because there are 30-35 guys for 23 spots (that number takes into account whatever moves they make before mid September also)

Posted by: BBDwrestling | June 16, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

How about Jeff Beukeboom?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Not much word about Chris Bourque and the little that has been said of him is that he's too small. Well Patrick Kane sure doesn't look imposing and what has he done lately? What are Chris' chances?

Posted by: SMLdave | June 16, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Why has nobody asked the most important question? Why can't the Caps get hot ice girls ... each one seems a bit off.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

didn't Roy Hobbs have a BBQ restaurant somewhere in Centreville yrs ago or am I thinking of someone else ?

and big names aren't going to mean much in the end. Chicago didn't win because of Hossa. Hossa was a component. But they have a solid foundation of hockey philosophy and strong role players to complement their big name skill guys. Adding players to our team won't mean squat unless we also adjust our philosophies to bring them in line with what it takes to win in the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

maybe i'm thinkin of roy jefferson

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I agree that Carlson is a better prospect than Alzner.

In addition, HF has Carlson ranked above Alzner even though he was drafted lower. Carlson was ranked #10 of all NHL prosepcts on the prospect list on March 25th. With about half that list graduating the prospect label Carlson will end up as a top 5 ranking next year and maybe even #1. He is a great prospect.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Langway has a bar in hardcore PG County.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

How about Jeff Beukeboom?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Great acquisition by neil smith. Along with Graves and Messier. Edm should get a big assist on the Rags winning the Cup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1 ... are you saying a trade with Edm is the way to go ... they have some interesting pieces nobody but hockey fans know about.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Why has nobody asked the most important question? Why can't the Caps get hot ice girls ... each one seems a bit off."

I agree with flee again.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@SMLdave:

I think Bourque's chances are better than most give him on here, and on HFBoards.

I see him, A.Gordon, Perreault, Carlson, Alzner and Neuvy making the team next year...

I'm sure people will call me crazy but coupled with the fact that GMGM hates losing assets (Gordon and Bourque will both be off ELC's), I think a move is made to open up a spot(s)

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Well Patrick Kane sure doesn't look imposing and what has he done lately? What are Chris' chances?
-------------

Kane's 2 inches taller. But that's beside the point. The differences in their games surpass any similarities in height. Just because Marty St Louis made it, it doesn't mean that every other short player has a good chance of making it.

another reason why it drives me batty when i hear about the Lidstrom comparisons every time we discuss Alzner or Sarge.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I like Beukeboom because Beukeboom is just such an awesome name for a hockey defenseman.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

cstanton1 ... are you saying a trade with Edm is the way to go ... they have some interesting pieces nobody but hockey fans know about.
----------------------

theo peckham. My list starts and ends with him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I like Beukeboom because Beukeboom is just such an awesome name for a hockey defenseman.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

so is garth butcher.

Beuks had his career ended with one punch. Not so unlike the Bertuzzi punch on Moore.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Funny thing with all this talk of who to get and who not to get, Is that the Caps lost due to being out coached, Plain and simple. Read how the Bears changed thier game after game 2, They played a different game and once they did that thier skill was able to take over. Caps could have blown thru the East this year but no adjustments were made. I agree we need a 2nd line Center and a stay at home d-man.. But until these guys learn how to play in the NHL Playoffs it wont matter if we have Larry Robinson and Bobby Orr and Mark Messier as added players with Patrick Roy in net!!

BB needs to coach better, and our captian needs to take a page out of Bryan Helmer's leadership!

Posted by: darrylrbaker | June 16, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Carlson, Alzner, Neuvy all have nothing more to prove in Hershey and the same can be said for 3-4 forwards, all listed above.

GMGM knows what he's doing. He already knows what he wants this summer, what his budget is and I guarantee he will be in a listening mode trade-wise.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Fun watching the Bears creativity especially on the power play in the finals. On the first power play Monday night Carlson and Bourque started on the points but Carlson would rotate into the slot and Giroux would take his place on the right point. Carlson looked like a big power forward lurking in the mid slot waiting for a pass or loose puck to come his way. This is how he scored the first and what turned out to be the only goal the Bears would need to clinch the Cup.

Big Benn for Texas and Carlson tangled repeatedly around the Bears net early in game 6. To start the game Benn drove Carlson to the net but Carly was able to keep Benn from getting a shot off as he rounded the Bears net. As the game progessed Benn simply wore down and did not want anymore to do with either Alzner or Carlson who were always paired together when Benn was on the ice except for the power play or when Carly went off for two minutes but Benn who played all 82 for the Dallas Stars was still shut down. It was a pleasure to watch these two future NHL All Star caliber D-men play Monday night for $17.50 and the Calder Cup from the second bowl at the Giant Center probably for the last time in the AHL.

Posted by: dull | June 16, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

how many coaches change what they inherently believe in? it won't happen.

BB loves offense, he loves the accolades of having a high scoring offense, he's not going to compromise that. He doesn't want to win a game 2-1. He'd rather try and score 6 goals and think that his team can always score in bunches even when goals get harder to come by like in the playoffs.
He's nothing if not stubborn. He said it before the playoffs when asked about the Umberger comment. He stated that his way worked for a long time at every level. I don't see that changing. Balance to him is a foreign concept.

i think it'll take a GM and coaching change before the Caps can even think about winning a Cup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

If Caps don't win Cup, no matter the regular season they have, BB is gone. They make huge push, get in playoffs and lose to Philly in 7. Main reason to get to 7, Varly. Then the next year they make it to two game 7's, again for Varly, but then come out flat in second game 7 at home. This year they regress big time going out to #8 seed.

BB has hit his ceiling folks and this is his last year. This also happens all the time in sports, one coach leaving and another steps in to win Championship.

Also, how many freaking bad commercials can BB do? He knows his days are limited as he does EVERY commercial possible.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Great acquisition by neil smith. Along with Graves and Messier. Edm should get a big assist on the Rags winning the Cup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:14 PM

Yes, just like the Flyers get an assist for Colorado's Cups.

cstanton: I'm not as convinced as you that Caps are sunk with McPhee and BB. McPhee I believe just about had the pieces last year but for the Nylander hangover. BB needs to learn to adapt the style, not just swap lines. And I'm not sure if Ovi, as great as he is, would have been able to give the Helmer speech. That must comes from someone like Knuble.

You and I pretty much agree on what Caps must do personnel wise to make the next step, so we'll be equally peeved if it doesn't happen this summer. Keeping Flash as a for instance - unanimous agreement almost here that would be a huge judgment error.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

4

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

how many coaches change what they inherently believe in? it won't happen.

BB loves offense, he loves the accolades of having a high scoring offense, he's not going to compromise that. He doesn't want to win a game 2-1. He'd rather try and score 6 goals and think that his team can always score in bunches even when goals get harder to come by like in the playoffs.
He's nothing if not stubborn. He said it before the playoffs when asked about the Umberger comment. He stated that his way worked for a long time at every level. I don't see that changing. Balance to him is a foreign concept.

i think it'll take a GM and coaching change before the Caps can even think about winning a Cup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

well, lets see. you are given a team w/ ov, semin, backstom and green. what would your philosophy be? try and turn ov into a selke winner and keep green on the defensive side of the red line? thats what got hanlon fired and the team in last place.

BB is coaching to this teams stregnth, which is offense. no shock to anyone that the team needs some defensive help, which i believe they will get with carlson and alzner playing full time next year. perhaps a more defensive FA dman added to the mix.

BB's coaching has worked at every level. has clearly not succeded in the nhl playoffs yet. but recall that defense wasnt really their problem against montreal, was it?

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | June 16, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

well, lets see. you are given a team w/ ov, semin, backstom and green. what would your philosophy be? try and turn ov into a selke winner and keep green on the defensive side of the red line? thats what got hanlon fired and the team in last place.
----------------------------

so you don't think its possible for a team to play responsible defensive hockey and still utilize its offensive skill? There is a ton of gray area between what Boudreau does and what a Jacques Lemaire does.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Also, how many freaking bad commercials can BB do? He knows his days are limited as he does EVERY commercial possible.
-----------------------

true. He's like Samuel Jackson was 3 yrs ago. Said yes to EVERY role. Now you barely hear of him.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1- You and I seem to see this eye to eye. I would hope after 3 years of losing that BB would change a lil bit. He doesnt need to change that much either. When teams are collapsing in front of thier Goaltender then you need to dump the puck, cycle and crash the net. That then opens it up for your defensemen to have open shots and your forwards to cash in on rebounds, Why he wont adhere to that is beyond me.

Look at the goals Hershey scored in game 6 and who had the 4 goals? All blueliners, b/c they had the open shot to take and the forwards were there for a screen and or a rebound.

To me the Caps had guys that could shoot from the point with Green, Corvo, Poti and Carlson... But it never happend b/c the skill guys tried to go thru 5 guys or shott from 30 ft out.. hence a loss in the 1st round!

Posted by: darrylrbaker | June 16, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Like Homer with an unloaded gun, waiting is the hardest part. The Caps will get there just as Edm and Det did back in the day.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

BB's coaching has worked at every level. has clearly not succeded in the nhl playoffs yet. but recall that defense wasnt really their problem against montreal, was it?
--------------------------

its not just about offense v defense. Its also about how you go about generating that offense. He doesn't coach a dirty enough style in the playoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"make the next step, so we'll be equally peeved if it doesn't happen this summer. Keeping Flash as a for instance - unanimous agreement almost here that would be a huge judgment error."

BB: George. Don't jettison Flash. Seriously bro, he's on the cusp!! The cusp!!

GM: Cusp of what?

BB: Greatness man.

GM: You been readin the hockey boards? We gotta make a sacrifice. After you vouched for Joe Motzko, you're on thin ice with Flash.

BB: Hey after you stuck me with Corvo, you owe me!

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

to me, the overriding flaw with Bruce's coaching is how he tends to gloss over mistakes in a win and then scratch his head and wonder why those same recurring mistakes led to a loss. If he did a better job of addressing negative trends before they actually resulted in a negative outcome, this team would give a more even effort.

norv used to do this too. The Skins once gave up like 900 yards of total offense in two consecutive home games vs two awful teams (the Jets were one of them). And Norv glossed over it, actually made light of it, just because the Skins pulled out both games somehow. Not a surprise later to see our defense getting repeatedly shelled and leading to loss after loss.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

BB once said Flash was his Ovie in Hershey, if that ain't bromance what is? Gotta find this quote.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@flee
"If Caps don't win Cup, no matter the regular season they have, BB is gone. They make huge push, get in playoffs and lose to Philly in 7. Main reason to get to 7, Varly."

Varly wasn't even on the team that year

Posted by: _stevo | June 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

well, he can cuddle with him after games and bring him on the plane with him if necessary. Just don't dress him during games. Undress him afterwards.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Just realzied I confused Schultz with ShaMo earlier in a post - duh

Posted by: Shiba-fussa | June 16, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I would bring up the following players from hershey:
carlson, alzner, neuvy, gordo, perrault.

Posted by: LettsDropThePuck | June 16, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@flee:

if I remember correctly it wasn't Ovie... it was Jagr...

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

After hearing GMGM on NHL Live today, I am starting to believe Semin will not be moved this offseason. So now what?

OV/Backs/Knuble
Semin/?/Laich
?/Perrault/Fehr
Bradley/Steckel/Chimera

Green/Shultz
Poti/?
Alzner/Carlson

Varly
Neuvirth

Those are the openings we have. Assume Flash will be moved. IMO, no one else will be signed UFA/RFA not listed above.

Just over $42.5m committed. Assume $2m for Shultz, $2.5 for Fehr, $1m for Neuvy, that moves us to $48m. Am I right?

In reality we need a Dman, 2C, 3LW. Who from Hershey should be one line 3? It would be nice if that person had some scoring touch. Chimera just misses too many shots for him to be anything other than a 4th line player.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 16, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Man am I behind. I finally get done reding the comments on the BMo posting and add my 2 cents only to find out there is a new post. Anyway, here are my thoughts which are also at the bottom of the last post.

My thoughts (not that they are worth much)

Go with Varly/Neuvy as they have nothing left to do in Hershey.

Same argument for Alzner.

How about Flash and Erskine for Regehr (or another top paid Dman)? They get scoring and a replacement D for the same price as the 1 players.

Sloan's 700K is a little high but not that much. I would think 600K but it's not going to kill us.

Brads is totally worth the 1M. Just think of the extra 200K as his PR salary for all those great interviews, videos, etc... Also, they should totally bring back Dr. Bradley for Forces of Hockey. The new guy was terrrible.

If we don't trade for a 2C or top 4 Dman, then I would like Lombardi for 2C and either Willie Mitchell (provided he is healthy) or Michalek.

And how about this for a line-up...
Ovi-Nicky-Knubs
Semin-Lombardi-Fehr
Chewy-Laich-A. Gordo
Gordo-Stecks-Brads
Pinner
Beags

While he is my first choice to replace Knubs on the top line, Laich is technically a Center and his defensive game should equate to a 3C role but with more offensive output.

And I have this feeling that A. Gordo is what Knuble was in Boston before. Knubs gets injured and he steps right in. He already plays Knubles game and could easily take his place after next year.

Green-Sarge
Michalek-Poti
Carlson-Alzner
Sloan

That gives us 3 righties and 3 lefties (which you know BB loves)

Varly/Neuvy

Who knows what we do with Flash & Erskine. Maybe we trade them for picks or use them in a trade for a 2C or Dman and down't sign the 2 guys from Phoenix. Those parts are interchangeable.

Posted by: pkendrick | June 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Also, did anybody catch what GMGM said on NHL Live today? I know he was on but I didnt' catch it.

Posted by: pkendrick

Posted by: pkendrick | June 16, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Also, did anybody catch what GMGM said on NHL Live today? I know he was on but I didnt' catch it.
------------------

he said the premature playoff exit caught them by surprise and that had they had a couple of lucky bounces go their way they fully expected to win the Cup this year and that a lot of teams were thanking their lucky stars they didn't have to face us in future rounds because they know how good we are. Also that he signed himself to a contract extension and that they expect to score even more goals next season and the nhl has promised to suspend any goalies if they display too much hotness against us since the statute of limitations on how many times one team can use the hot goalie excuse has expired.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

#2 Center:
Lombardi-UFA
someone else via trade

#2/3 Defenseman:
Mitchell
Michalek
someone else via trade

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

How about moving up MP to 2nd line center (or possible have him centering Ovie and Knuble with Backstrom centering Laich and Semin) then sign John Madden as the 3rd line center. (or they sign Lombardi and have him play 2nd line with MP playing 3rd line. Unfortunately that leaves the 3rd line weaker defensively).

Call up A. Gordon as either 3rd line wing or 4th line wing (if Chimera plays 3rd line).

Then sign either Volchenkov, Hamuis or Michalek for the D role.

Could also try to trade Flash in a deal to try to get Reagher or maybe Clutterbuck(or the like)

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Damn, I got my years messed up. _stevo, thanks for the correction on Varly vs. Flyers, my bad :(

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

How about Flash and Erskine for Regehr (or another top paid Dman)? They get scoring and a replacement D for the same price as the 1 players.
---------------

Calgary doesn't need Erskine. They have enough young rugged defensive dmen (Pardy, Pelech etc) who are better than Erskine. Also, no team really would give up anything for Erskine. He's already passed thru waivers twice and cleared them easily.

I could see there being some market for Flash in Calgary because they need skill. But I think it'll take a package deal that includes someone at a higher level than Erskine. I don't know if Regehr puts us at the level we need to be but he does make us better and gives us some more leadership back there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@flee

no worries, I get my game 7 exits mixed up too

Posted by: _stevo | June 16, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

@sgm3:
GMGM general doesn't make too many trades because the value can be sometimes lopsided. Having said that, if there was any year to make a slightly lopsided trade it's this year because several young players are poised to step in (A.Gordon, Perreault, Bourque, Alzner, Carlson, Neuvirth, Varlamov)

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Regehr has a NMC, fyi!

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I definitely agree that the Caps need to address adding a second line center either through free agency or trade, but as far as a top 4 defenseman goes, I'd rather see them acquire one closer to the trade deadline. They have plenty of defensemen that are more than adequate for the regular season, so if I were GM, I would rather trade away some prospects/picks at the deadline than overspend in dollars and contract length to bring that top 4 guy into the fold via free agency.

Posted by: cainoo7x | June 16, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

lombardi would make sense in terms of how the Caps think. Pure speed. Word is the Rags may make a play for him as well, it'll take some pressure off Dubinsky who they're always trying to turn into a more offensive player than he probably is suited to being. Like most fast skilled centers he needs to get grittier and better on his faceoffs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

Did not know that. I wonder if Reagher would be willing to waive it.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"I would rather trade away some prospects/picks at the deadline than overspend in dollars and contract length to bring that top 4 guy into the fold via free agency."

bad move there. You overpay in prospects at the deadline. So would you rather overpay in dollars in the offseason or overpay in top prospects and picks a month before the playoffs start? You need to give a guy on defense more than just a few games to get comfortable with the scheme and his teammates. Its a bit easier when you come in as a checking line forward to a new team than a top 4 dman who pulls down top minutes.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

fyi to all... on capgeek.com if a player has a little image of a lock to the right of the name, you can hover over it and get an explanation of what type of contract clauses are attached, with respect to movement!

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

@FrankM73

Did not know that. I wonder if Reagher would be willing to waive it.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

i will predict if we bring Regehr here, you'll be very disappointed :)

At his prime, he was exactly what we needed. Now, he's slowed down a lot. Can't make hits the way he used to because he's not quick enough to cut off the angle. His hits now mostly consist of hitting a player along the boards in his own end behind the goal line. That's the only way he can really catch a guy to hit. His body has taken a lot of abuse. He'll make us better but not by leaps and bounds. RR is fading fast. If you want a better defensive hitter who is on the market due to his salary, go for Cory Sarich. Much more explosive.

also, souray is available I think because his ntc expired.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Not a big fan of Souray.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

well, he's better suited to handling nhl abuse at this point in his career than is Regehr imo. Also gives you the big shot. Also gives you a much meaner presence in the crease. Also offers the same leadership skills you get from RR. And he's about 10x the fighter so he keeps teams honest.

i'm curious, are you not a fan of SS because of the stereotype floated around that he's not good defensively? or because you just don't like the way he plays.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

the caps had Staffan Kronwall in their system. For whatever reason, they chose to let him go. Probably because he's not a slickskating dman.

He'll probably crack Calgary's defensive lineup this year. Big hitter on the blueline and skates better than Erskine. I could see him as a good 5th dman type option with the Caps. Unfortunately he doesn't fit what we "generally" look for.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I think Souray is a decent player but is paid significantly more than he is worth.

He is better suited for a team looking for a guy to play the point on the PP.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

"He is better suited for a team looking for a guy to play the point on the PP."

but he brings so much more than that. You make him sound like Corvo. Souray is arguably the toughest defenseman in hockey. Most nights he doesn't need to act tough on the ice but his reputation prevents a lot of opposing players from taking liberties in the crease or with his teammates. He doesn't fight very often but when he does he lays a real beating. He provides a good deterrent factor as one of his intangible qualities. The irony is, he was drafted as strictly a rugged tough defensive dman with no offensive upside. Now he's looked at as the opposite. Gotta love pigeonholing.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Not pigeonholing, he is being paid over $5M/yr because of his overall ability. His ability on the PP was a big reason he is being paid so much. If he didn't play at all on the PP he would not be making over $5M/yr.

If the Caps would not use him on the PP he would not be worth the same value to the Caps that he would be worth to another team which is why he was paid over $5M/yr. Therefore, he would be overpaid if he played on the Caps.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 16, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton:

I'll admit I've not seen SS play much and never keyed in on him. I always thought this was an offensive D... never knew he was a bad mama-jamma to start.

sounds like someone we could use... but alas, his cap # is 5.4 for 2 more years... and he did not have a good year last year
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=256

What would you guys give up for him in a trade?

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 16, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

good point sgm

so that settles it then. Green moves to forward and Souray can play the PP point on the 1st unit with Carlson manning the 2nd unit.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton:

I'll admit I've not seen SS play much and never keyed in on him. I always thought this was an offensive D... never knew he was a bad mama-jamma to start.

sounds like someone we could use... but alas, his cap # is 5.4 for 2 more years... and he did not have a good year last year
http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=256

What would you guys give up for him in a trade?
-----------

well he played for Edm so don't judge him based on that. Souray's a tough SOB. Most players don't want to mess with him. He's got a big temper and he's unpredictable and he's beat the snot out of quite a few people including some big tough guys. And he'll fight anyone. From a top liner like Iginla to a tough dman like Derian Hatcher to a 4th line tough guy like Craig Weller. He doesn't discriminate. Once he gets you in his crosshairs be ready for battle. He's also just plain mean. Elbows, sticks, punches, you name it. All the fighting he did early in his career helped him establish a presence. Anyone who goes digging for a puck on his goalie will get mugged, plain and simple. There'll be no "hey fella, can you maybe not do that please?"

Because of his age/salary hit it wouldn't take the world to get him. And his attitude may rub off on the younger dmen, they'll play with a bit more fire in their own end.

Alzner plus Flash may interest the Oil. Although what they'd really want is 2 young CHEAP players who could step right into their lineup. Sarge (depending on his salary) plus a young decent prospect could get it done. I'm not saying I'd necessarily pull the trigger on a Souray trade but I think that's what it would take.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctpg0DaTAeY

here he knocks out MN tough guy Weller with a series of forearm shivers. Maybe a bit illegal but thats how he rolls. What I like about him is, he's ornery, abrasive and always sticks up for his teammates. In Montreal he went after anyone who hit Koivu. A lot of his scraps are usually in defense of a teammate. He's a violent guy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8OIZ8rsgXg&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In5fBCCza9A&feature=related

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

i hope GMGM makes some kind of move soon. at this point i'd rather read about what he did then what he should do.
the longest stretch of the year is from the final SC game to the first drop of the puck for the next season.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | June 16, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's my 2 cents:

Ovechkin/Backstrom/Knuble
Fleischmann/Laich/Semin
Chimera/B.Gordon/Fehr
Bradley/Steckel/Laing
[A.Gordon/Perreault/Bourque]

Green/Schultz
Poti/Alzner
Carlson/Morrisonn
[Erskine/Sloan]

Varlamov
Neuvirth

Where the Caps have $ 11,107,000 to sign
RFA's Fleischmann, Fehr, B.Gordon, & Laing
UFA's Schultz & Morrisonn

Goodbye Belanger, Walker, Morrison, Corvo, Jurcina, and Theodore

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | June 16, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Sheldon Souray is the last person the Caps need. Sure, he has a bomb from the point. But he is also slow and easily beat in the d-zone.

The Caps need to go with Varly/Neuvirth. They are definitely good enough to carry the Caps to a cup. You put either of them on the Blackhawks and they're still a legitimate cup contender.

Speaking of the Blackhawks, my last point: the difference between the Caps and Hawks was in two areas in my opinion. The depth of gritty forwards and obviously the depth on the blue line. I think the addition of Beagle or someone else may help the grit on the front line, but I don't know if Alzner and Carlson are going to equal Seabrook, Keith, Boynton, and co. The caps have to add a quality defenseman.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | June 16, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I know he is mean and nasty but I am just not big on his contract (cap hit & length).

And I know we have absolutely ZERO chance of getting him from San Jose but I would love to see Doug Murray in a Caps sweater. He is big, nasty, hits everything and always seems to do a great job shutting down Ovi.

Posted by: pkendrick | June 16, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

@ rb-freedom-for-all

Seriously??

------------
The more youtube clips i watch of Souray, the more i like him.
Why does everyone hate him so bad, esp. in Edmonton?
They might take Poti - 1yr at 3,5 as a temporary replacement and get Souray of the books, his NMC ends july 1st.
What worries me is that he's injuryprone and his bad reputation. There's always a reason for why a player is being shopped like he has.

And regarding our PP, i've been thinking for atleast this season that they should split up Ovie and Green. I get the feeling that they sometimes don't want to pass eachother.
i.e.
1st PP: Ovie, Souray, Backs, Knuble and pos. #2C
2nd PP: Green, Semin, Laich, Carlson, Fehr

Please correct me if i'm wrong about Souray, but he has that "Nasty" i want to see more of on our D.

Posted by: Walle | June 16, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Souray better not be wearing a Caps uniform. Ever. He hasn't played like cstanton's description in like 5 years. He's done.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 16, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

At his prime, he was exactly what we needed. Now, he's slowed down a lot. Can't make hits the way he used to because he's not quick enough to cut off the angle. His hits now mostly consist of hitting a player along the boards in his own end behind the goal line. That's the only way he can really catch a guy to hit. His body has taken a lot of abuse. He'll make us better but not by leaps and bounds. RR is fading fast. If you want a better defensive hitter who is on the market due to his salary, go for Cory Sarich. Much more explosive.

___________________________________

This is funny, especially after reading all your praise for Souray.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 16, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Only problem with Souray is cost. He is a bit slower on D now so I'd rather keep a Semin than bring in a Souray, budget wise that is.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, i changed my mind, can't get him to fit under the cap and still fill our other more important holes.
I'm sticking with my former line-up where the additions are Clutterbuck, Clarkson, Lombardi and Michalek..

Posted by: Walle | June 16, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

His contract sucks, he's 33, only played 20 something games last season. I used to be a pretty big Souray fan (love to hate, hate to love relationship), but he is done.

Regehr may be done as well to, who knows, but he's only 28, makes less money, etc.

The choice is simple for me.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 16, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

More I look the more I think Sharp could be had from Chicago but the rest of the league knows this also.

Posted by: flee001 | June 16, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's my 2 cents:

Ovechkin/Backstrom/Knuble
Fleischmann/Laich/Semin
Chimera/B.Gordon/Fehr
Bradley/Steckel/Laing
[A.Gordon/Perreault/Bourque]

Green/Schultz
Poti/Alzner
Carlson/Morrisonn
[Erskine/Sloan]

Varlamov
Neuvirth

Where the Caps have $ 11,107,000 to sign
RFA's Fleischmann, Fehr, B.Gordon, & Laing
UFA's Schultz & Morrisonn

Goodbye Belanger, Walker, Morrison, Corvo, Jurcina, and Theodore

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all

No offense, but I threw up in my mouth looking at that line up. Not only do you want to keep Boyd Gordon, but you want him as the 3rd center.

This is worse than the line up we just lost with.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 16, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Erskine is simply not needed at this point. He's an average defender, and we have enough people who can handle the enforcer role (bradley, chimera, others if need be). Laing and Gordon aren't really neccesary, either, as we have good enough guys to call up.

We need grittier D-men. Poti demonstrated he can somewhat fill that role in the playoffs, but we need more. We've seen where high-octane, finnesse offence and good goaltending can get us. Golfing before it gets too hot out.

Posted by: j762 | June 16, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I think they should considering bringing Belanger back. We would be a really solid 3rd line centre and good on the penalty kill. He was amazing on faceoffs in the playoffs and would be worth having just to take important draws in the post-season. Word is Weiss is available. Might be worth looking into as a 2nd line centre. Solid player with a low salary. But I don't know if Florida would give him up within the division.

Posted by: Stu_c | June 16, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

"cstanton: I'm not as convinced as you that Caps are sunk with McPhee and BB. McPhee I believe just about had the pieces last year but for the Nylander hangover. BB needs to learn to adapt the style, not just swap lines."

Yes if they become like different people I think they have a chance to win a cup.

Posted by: Mike4169 | June 16, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Weiss for Flash and the 1st pick
Sign Hamhuis

OV/Backs/Knuble
Semin/Weiss/Laich
Hershey/Perrault/Fehr (Can M. Johansson play LW?)
Bradley/Steckel/Chimera

Green/Shultz
Poti/Hamhuis
Alzner/Carlson

Varly
Neuvy

Should have enough cap space to do this. Stu_c mentioned Weiss. I like Weiss, and Florida will be shopping him. Would flash and a 1st be enough, maybe, we could alter if needed. 3rd line LW out of Hershey or M. Johansson, would be fun to watch. I like the looks of it.

It's time to drop the guys whom have given us there best who are UFA/RFA (Theo, Juice, BMo, Shamo, Gordo, Walker, Corvo, Belanger). None of these guys are at the point in their career where they can improve. We have seen their best. To win a cup we need to find more with all money at our disposal, can't waste a cent.

Thoughts?

Posted by: underpants2 | June 16, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of the Blackhawks, my last point: the difference between the Caps and Hawks was in two areas in my opinion. The depth of gritty forwards and obviously the depth on the blue line. I think the addition of Beagle or someone else may help the grit on the front line, but I don't know if Alzner and Carlson are going to equal Seabrook, Keith, Boynton, and co. The caps have to add a quality defenseman.
------------------------------

The Hawks had the horses to deal with the Flyers style of play. And they were able to beat em with a bit more skill. But if the Hawks didn't have guys like Brouwer, Ladd, Buff, Eager, Burish, Seabrook etc, they would've had a hard time matching up to the Flyers bruisers. Our checking line grit isn't of the same calibre thats for sure. Chimera? come on. Belanger? Gordo? ick

And we don't have a big mean two way leader like Seabrook on D. Its also very telling that the Hawks go out and get a Boynton late in the season and we get JC. Teams like the Bs and the Hawks muscle up on their depth dmen because they know those guys are more valuable come playoff time where the trench battles are more prominent. That's why the Bs fill out their depth with players like McQuaid and Boychuk.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Boynton played in 3 playoff games overall and averaged 8:23 of ice time. He clearly was vital to the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

If you read #10 it sounds like they're implying Lombardi would be good for the Caps.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news;_ylt=AggoCXeypaeZJN4L3PyOC0B7vLYF?slug=sm-freeagents0616

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k78XraeWw2w&feature=related

Putting Carlson in for this power play in the final minutes of game 7 was clearly a mistake. Regardless of how well he played with Poti in previous games. Looks like he was daydreaming or something. Definitely not making any effort at all to get back. Lazy or too immature? Based on this I'd think he may need more seasoning in the AHL so that when he does make it he'll know and act like this is serious business and not the Captain America show.

Posted by: blueplanet8888 | June 17, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

HAHA, Hockeybuzz just got owned by ESPN.com.........

"Be ready for the shortest post ever.

Despite rumors from a not-to-be-named website saying the New Jersey Devils could trade Martin Brodeur for the Washington Capitals' Alexander Semin, it isn't so. GM Lou Lamoriello "emphatically" denied any discussion of a Brodeur trade, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

We are shocked."

Posted by: eorr53 | June 17, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Agree that Lombardi would be a good acquisistion as a 2C...I first noticed him when he was with CGY--decent hands and crazy-fast.

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 17, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Alzner does not describe himself as a stay-at-home defenseman. He is trying to be more like Lidstrom: "because even a little bit of Nick Lidstrom makes a good player, I’d say."

I'm looking forward to seeing both Alzner and Carlson in the lineup next season.

www.theahl.com/chat-wrap-hershey-s-karl-alzner-p142906

My favorite Alzner quotes:

"Without a doubt, I’ve tried to model my game after Nick Lidstrom. He does everything really well, and he’s the type of player I’d like to be. He’s not overly physical, but he’s good with his stick, smart and solid in his own zone and with the puck. I’m always trying to do things just a little bit like him because even a little bit of Nick Lidstrom makes a good player, I’d say.

My game personally has changed quite a bit, I think. Last year, I was very one-dimensional. I was trying to stick with straight defense, make simple plays, just get the puck out of my zone. There have been times this year where I’ve been called upon to do more than that – and that’s play on the power play, jumping up into the rush, and be that fourth attacker for us, and I think it’s been a good year for me. I’ve transitioned into more of a two-dimensional player, and that’s huge for me.

I’ve learned a lot from my defensive partner in John Carlson, and I think we’ve been a good fit together. Hopefully he’s learned a little from me, but I’ve definitely learned a lot from him.

Well it’s always nice to play with somebody who’s around the same age as you because it’s just a little bit more relaxing. Me and Carly have been playing together for a little bit now, and I think it’s a good match-up. He’s offensive, I’m a little bit more defensive, and we read off each other really well. It’s a nice mesh, and also like I said earlier, I’ve been learning a lot from him along the way. So I’m hoping he’s a guy I get to stick with for a few years to come here because I think it’ll work out really well."

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | June 17, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Trade rumours: Brodeur for Semin.

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2010/06/16/sp-lamoriello-brodeur.html

Not sure if Brodeur is the right grab, but we could get something good for Semin since his value is so inflated.

Posted by: fronesis1016 | June 17, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

@cstanton:
i'm impressed with his fights... he absolutely rocked those players.

Someone else mentioned that he's not a good skater... or no longer a good skater and hasn't been playing up to his contract for 5 years (approx)...

has his hand and head healed?

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Lombardi, was he the 1st or 2nd line center with Phx? His numbers are solid if second. He looks to be a great fit on a line with Semin and Laich. That moves a Fehr to third line with center tbd. This would be great.

As for the D, good options in UFA and trade route with 1st round pick, Flash, Hershey ... others.

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Lombardi was the highest scoring Center on the Coyotes with 19G, 34A, 53Pts in 78 games in 17:56 minutes of work per game... sounds like a good second line Center fit for us...

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

For those who care (and I do because A) it's hockey related and B) I used to kick so much a** with the Devils in NHL 2000) the Devils hired a new coach.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=324918

Posted by: Fro_ | June 17, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I still think one of the more recent poor moves by McPhee was not signing Matt Cooke to a 3 year contract after the 07-08 season.

Posted by: Fro_ | June 17, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

What does anyone think about this?
if the caps sign Lombardi as the #2 Center, putting Chimera and Semin on his line as wings? Or would people prefer Laich or Flash (if not traded)?

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

i think it'll take a GM and coaching change before the Caps can even think about winning a Cup.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad you think so, but that doesn't make sense. Our team is not that different from the Penguins, hence why we both lost to Montreal. We need to get better at some stuff. We don't need a new coach of GM.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | June 17, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

With Lombardi you put Semin on one wing, afterall that's why we really need a solid 2C, but you've got to go with Laich on the other wing, that blue collar guy like Knuble on the first line. Brooks is turning into this and when was the last time you heard of Flash changing a tire? We need more tire changers

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Why not try Fehr with Semin (if he is still here) and drop Laich down to the checking line (3rd)?? Fehr is a big body and showed he is willing to pay the price to get to the net at the end of last season, plus he has better hands than Laich to scoop up those rebounds.

Posted by: PhilR | June 17, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I think you try both Laich and Fehr on the Wing except Fehr is a RW so Semin would have to slide back to his original position of LW...

with Laich, Semin would play RW and Laich LW...

We could be exceptionally dangerous next year with a bonafide #2 Center and someone like Willie Mitchell or Zbynek Michalek as the primary addition on D...

at that point the only ? mark is will one of the 2 young tenders be about to seize the #1 Goalie job and run with it.

My bets are still on Neuvy...

either way, with a .909 and .915 save percentage behind a better defense and more balance offense... that should lead to less shots and pressure... at least logic would dictate!

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Laich fits the checking line forward position much better than Fehr does, Fehr has always been known as a goal scorer...I think he is wasted on the 3rd line and really needs those 2nd line minutes to show what he really has!

Posted by: PhilR | June 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton:
i'm impressed with his fights... he absolutely rocked those players.

Someone else mentioned that he's not a good skater... or no longer a good skater and hasn't been playing up to his contract for 5 years (approx)...

has his hand and head healed?

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

look, when Mark Tinordi came to the Caps, he was already on the start of his downswing. Souray isn't in his prime by any means and he doesn't get into fights every game. But he doesn't need to either. He established a presence a long time ago and once in a while he'll snap on the ice just to remind opponents as to who he is. And he'll definitely go and send someone a serious message if they take a run at one of his teammates. That part of his game still exists. He was never a great skater to begin with. But if you like the intangibles he brings (and I do), he's worth getting for 2-3 yrs and helping bring some leadership and grit on the blueline. He's not an amazing shutdown dman but he does bring some core qualities that are missing on this team with regards to leadership and toughness. And he'll offer some good mentoring to our young guys. That's what players like Foote, Jason Smith, Souray etc are/were known for - to give some confidence to young defensemen so they add some elements to their game that are missing.

As to the fact that he's "slow", well he's quick enough to be effective without being dominating. Corvo isn't slow, but he's also not that effective either. The main reason to get Souray would be the toughness on D and the mentoring factor. And you're kinda rolling the dice on injuries with him. You never know. 2 yrs ago he played 81 games, last year he got hurt. So at 34 yrs old he presents some risk. I wouldn't give up the world to get him but at the right price he'd be an asset.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Laich fits the checking line forward position much better than Fehr does, Fehr has always been known as a goal scorer...I think he is wasted on the 3rd line and really needs those 2nd line minutes to show what he really has!

Posted by: PhilR | June 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

agreed, but its also valuable for a young forward like Fehr to get experience as a checking forward. Which is what makes Knuble so valuable because he can really play on ANY line. And thats because he started his career as a 3rd and 4th liner. Fehr's got the size to be on a checking line and its only going to help his game if he can play well in both respects.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

No offense, but I threw up in my mouth looking at that line up. Not only do you want to keep Boyd Gordon, but you want him as the 3rd center.

This is worse than the line up we just lost with.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 16, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

rofl! and that 2nd line..ugh

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton:
the question remains, is he still on the market and why were the Oil trying to get rid of him?
5.4 for 2 years isn't bad IF Souray can pot 15 and assist on 30 more and eat 18-20 mins per game...

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse


Laich fits the checking line forward position much better than Fehr does, Fehr has always been known as a goal scorer...I think he is wasted on the 3rd line and really needs those 2nd line minutes to show what he really has!

Posted by: PhilR | June 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

agreed, but its also valuable for a young forward like Fehr to get experience as a checking forward. Which is what makes Knuble so valuable because he can really play on ANY line. And thats because he started his career as a 3rd and 4th liner. Fehr's got the size to be on a checking line and its only going to help his game if he can play well in both respects.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 1:44 PM


agree with this as well but in this case you have a natural goal scorer in Fehr and a natural checking line winger in Laich. Why would a coach make the decision to put the natural goal scorer in an unfamiliar position and the same with the checking line forward? I cussed about this all year last especially when Semin is a natural left wing, move Fehr up and see if those two have chemistry with Fehr picking up the loose change when the puck rebounds off the goalies pads after a Semin wrist shot. I think Fehr playing on that line all year would have at least been a 35 goal scorer.

And this is not Laich bashing, I like the guy but lets face it, he is a better checker than a goal scorer. And if it was just to get Fehr some experience at back checking, well, he did that for a year....time to move him up to his natural position.

Posted by: PhilR | June 17, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

the Oil needs to rebuild. Same way we had to to dump guys like Gonchar, Grier, Zubrus etc.

Souray isn't going to be around when Edm improves so why not dump him now and get prospects in return. And the Oil is always cash-strapped so they can't afford to tie up money in too many players. Esp after the contract they gave Dustin Penner.

They also have a couple of young D waiting to crack their lineup. They started dumping vets last season - like Steve Staios, and got a really good young dman back in Aaron Johnson. So with him, Theo Peckham, Alex Plante etc waiting to get some more ice time, Souray is more than expendable.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

And if it was just to get Fehr some experience at back checking, well, he did that for a year....time to move him up to his natural position.


Should be back/fore checking!! My mind got ahead of my fingers.

Posted by: PhilR | June 17, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Phil i hear you. And I think its more than viable to expect Fehr to pick up Semin's garbage around the net. But frankly, Fehr is still not a good defensive forward and having him and Semin on the same line permanently will put a lot of stress on the center. I think Fehr played very well in the playoffs but I'm not sold that he's mentally arrived yet. Laich took a bit of time to finally understand what type of work ethic you need to survive and be successful. I think Fehr still has some growing pains ahead of him. And Fehr seems to play his best on a cycling line. That's been my impression. All that being said however, I expect Fehr to see serious time on the 2nd line. We just don't know if Semin will join him on that line or be with another team....

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

oohhhh, you said the magic word "Peckham"... good prospect in the mold of D we need... *froths at the mouth in jealousy*

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

@PhilR

Are you sure Semin is a natural LW? I only remember playing as a RW for the Caps and for Russia.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I mistakenly called Regehr 28 yesterday. He is in fact, 30.

@sgm3

Semin is a natural LW.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

@smg3:
Semin's original position was LW, he was move to RW because of Ovechkin to try and make an UBER Line!

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/7933/capitals_top20_prospects/

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

oohhhh, you said the magic word "Peckham"... good prospect in the mold of D we need... *froths at the mouth in jealousy*

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

yeah, this kid's the real deal. Super strong on his skates and plays with a real fire in his game. And skates well for his size. Real throwback player. Exactly the type of guy the Caps need to draft more of.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

sgm3,

I read in more than one place that he is a natural LW, let me see what I can dig up as a link.

Posted by: PhilR | June 17, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Looks like FrankM73 beat me to finding a link, thanks!

Posted by: PhilR | June 17, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure Semin is a natural LW? I only remember playing as a RW for the Caps and for Russia.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

u serious? Semin's played LW for most of his time with the Caps. He only gets shifted to RW when he goes to the top line temporarily. And then proves not to be the best longterm fit so he gets replaced by a better 2way grinder type.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If Semin would feel comfortable playing the LW and would play it well, then I think the idea of having Semin as the LW on the 2nd line with Fehr as the RW on the 2nd line is a great idea.

That would bump Laich to 3rd line duty as LW and Chimera as 4th line LW. Or have Laich be 3rd line center with Chimera as 3rd line LW and maybe A Gordon or Bradley as 3rd line RW. And the rest of the Caps/Hershey Bears filling up the 4th line.

That would only leave a need for a 2nd line center. MP might even look well between Semin and Fehr, but his poor defensive play (which may improve) would leave me a little wary.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Are you serious? What is your problem?

Semin was always on the RW with the Caps last season, either on the 1st or 2nd line. He also played as a RW on Russia.

It was a more than reasonable question to ask and was kindly answered by all others on this board.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

just figured the BIGGEST semin fan on this planet would know that he started off as a LW and moved over to RW on the 1st line or on the 2nd line to accomodate a player like Flash. And sometimes BB will move Laich to the LW spot if he's not at center just get more of a defensive presence or grinding on that line.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

i think part of the move to RW was that Ovechkin has had free range to take longer shifts and that eats into Semin's shift on the 2nd line LW...

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I think FrankM73 hit the nail on the head. I clearly remember Semin as LW when he came up. Makes sense what he said, that and it gives Semin opportunity to share ice time with Ovi.

Anyone who says to put Fehr as #2 RW has my full agreement. He is not a checker. Yes, his defense is a question mark, but #2 line is great place for that if he can duplicate production he had at WHL and AHL.

He's light-years ahead of Flash in these areas.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Halak is going to be a Blues next year...

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

It's a tough call to put Fehr at #2RW because Knubs is #1RW and Semin mostly occupies the #2RW spot. Moving Fehr up to #2RW pushes Semin back to #2LW and possibly affects his PT due to Ovechkin playing above him...

It's Semin's contract year! he's going to make it hard to resign if you unleash him and give him max minutes...

Fehr is poised to just break out and replace Knuble after this season... opening up the #2 RW spot if/when Semin bolts for Free Agency... and we all know he'll get tons of offers...

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Canadiens traded Halak to St Louis

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=324934

Posted by: mlody67 | June 17, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Canadiens traded Halak to St Louis

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=324934


Posted by: mlody67

Crazy. The off season begins with a bang. Did not se that coming.

McPhee needs to make a move for Weiss.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 17, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

for who? they better have got back a kid like Oshie or something.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

OT: I just love that TL now owns VC and can hopefully get the ice fixed!

ZOMG could you imagine the current Caps team playing on top 5 in the NHL ice???

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit that I did not see that coming at all. I am also curious to see who they got back. If they received a center it probably means Plekanec is gone too. My guess is that Halak's price was just too high for the Habs.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Couple prospects. I hear Boyes may be involved.

I'm pretty sure all the kids are staying. (Berglund, Perron, Oshie.)

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

by the way, sorry if this was posted already but anyone seen this? Pretty much spells out that McPhee will not be making any systemic changes. He chalked up the defeat to just the other team playing better. And he's going to stick with his high flying style. Its all about the O.

"there are different ways to win and this is the way we've chosen and hopefully it works one of these days."


http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2010/06/17/mcphee-outlook-bright-despite-disappointment/

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

if we are trading with florida...i'd rather get horton than weiss

Posted by: _stevo | June 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Odd Halak moved now, why the rush?

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I would be happy to move Flash for Oshie.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

http://dumpnchase.com/?p=126

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:07 PM


I like this. If I recall, the last time they played it was kind of a blood bath.

Posted by: Fro_ | June 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Blues have good prospects. It'll be interesting to see who the prospects are because it will give some insight as to what the Habs think they lack and lessons learned from their defeat to Philly.

in contrast, i don't expect the Caps to learn any valuable lessons from their 1st round loss. McPhee was only too eager to point out that the loss was due to a lack of PP scoring....great!

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

So nice GMGM article and it shows that he expects Perreault in Wash next year. That's the four expected (Carlson, Alzner, Neuvy). Now the question is does he see Perrault as 2nd or 3rd line center?

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I would be happy to move Flash for Oshie.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

me, you, the entire world, except for Bruce and GM probably.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Lars Eller and Ian Schultz.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

@_stevo

I read that Horton was viewed as being soft, lazy, and a liability defensively. I only read this, so I'm not sure how true the accusations are. But if they are true then he may not be the ideal #2 center to go after.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't think MJ will make the team... Perreault will as the #3 scoring Center after we get a UFA Center

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

http://dumpnchase.com/?p=126

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:07 PM


I like this. If I recall, the last time they played it was kind of a blood bath.

Posted by: Fro_ | June 17, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

yeah, the Preds were hammering the Caps physically and the Caps tried to respond with Brashear who got kncked out by Belak and Brads got bloodied up (surprise!) by little Tootoo. Forget who won the game but that was the beginning of the end for Brashear. Too bad we didn't draft Tootoo instead of Owen Fussey.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Jebus... Capgeek.com already moved Halak to St Louis's roster and Schult and Eller over to the Canadians... wow!

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

no way! Ian Schultz ROCKS. I don't know Eller.

But Ian Schultz is a big power skating brute. Big hitter, big fighter, scores a lotta goals for the Hitmen

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

But if they are true then he may not be the ideal #2 center to go after.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 3:31 PM |

He's not a center.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

@_stevo

I read that Horton was viewed as being soft, lazy, and a liability defensively. I only read this, so I'm not sure how true the accusations are. But if they are true then he may not be the ideal #2 center to go after.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

if Horton is all those things, what does that make Semin I wonder.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You really can't argue with the statement, "The Caps lost to Montreal because of PP failure."

Caps were 1 for 33. Had they been only 20% effective, that would be 6 extra goals and we win for certain. You can try to argue with it, but you can't dispute the numbers. What you can try to do, create an argument, would be that Caps PP isn't configured for Playoffs. I don't know about that. Caps had success against all teams during the season. Montreal played very disciplined in clogging the slot, we've pointed that out, and Caps didn't adapt. So you can pick at McPhee's comment I suppose because he makes it seem like the guys just failed to score, when maybe it was because they were rock heads and wouldn't change. Maybe he should have said, "We lost because of our Power Play strategy."

Also, his statement gives the impression that the club might have succeeded in later rounds had they gotten past the first - and there is a view by many here that might not have been the case, due to fundamental deficiencies in defensive play (forwards and blueliners).

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

So good move for Mtl right? This also makes Mason one of the top UFA G's even after he said he wanted to stay in Stl.

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

55's brother?

Posted by: jeets | June 17, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Interesting move by Montreal... going with Price? or going after another goalie and selling Halak when he was at his highest value?
Thoughts?

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Eller is a blue-chip center prospect. He's got some size and is pretty feisty. Not very physical though, he's got great hands.

Honestly, he reminds me of Berglund.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

55's brother?

Posted by: jeets | June 17, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

heck no, even though they're both named Schultz and they both played for Calgary.

Ian is blackntuff, Sarge is whitenweak

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

cstanton: You really can't argue with the statement, "The Caps lost to Montreal because of PP failure."

---------------

and had we played a different team and lost (because we would have), then the reason would've been something else. It just worked in his favor that it was our PP. Because now yippee he gets to add more skill guys to our team.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I second that.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Mtl striking while iron is hot is my guess. They weigh offers on both and hope that Price gets a huge boost of confidence now that he's staying.

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Eller is a blue-chip center prospect. He's got some size and is pretty feisty. Not very physical though, he's got great hands.

Honestly, he reminds me of Berglund.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

seems obvious that Montreal wants to get bigger upfront. Their forwards are definitely on the small side except for Moen.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I thought Horton played both wing and center?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

ian is jeff's brother

Posted by: _stevo | June 17, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

GMGM built a team we could only dream of years ago as Caps fans. I'm going to drink the koolaid and see how this season pans out ... at least the next few weeks.

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Also, his statement gives the impression that the club might have succeeded in later rounds had they gotten past the first - and there is a view by many here that might not have been the case, due to fundamental deficiencies in defensive play (forwards and blueliners).

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 3:35 PM

this is probably the single most insulting, selfserving and infuriating aspect of McPhee. He is always implying that had they gotten past a certain team, other teams would have been in trouble. When he drafts a guy, that guy is someone they had much higher on their board. When he trades for a guy, he always acts like the trade worked out and they got what they needed. Its such garbage. If he was operating in a different hockey town where there's more scrutiny, he would get picked apart easily.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Well, he's not that big. Berglund is bigger, but Eller uses his size more. still, he's average at 6' 1''/200 lbs. He's pretty feisty for mostly being a finesse Euro. I think he's Danish.


@sgm

FLA tried Horton at center one year, but he perennially plays RW.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I second that.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

what do you second? that we need to improve the PP? that our PP isn't built for the playoffs? that McPhee is blowing smoke when he thinks his team was better than it really is and would've given other teams some major challenges? that our D is actually fine based on the # of goals we gave up?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Montreal selling high, smart. But did they get enough? I am not sure they did. Market for goalies is not great.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 17, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

http://ca.movember.com/uploads/members/profile/3/3787/378786-large.JPG

wow, does this look like Jeff's brother? i'll take your word for it, and usually brothers play on the same junior teams so i wouldnt doubt it, except for the fact they look totally different and play totally different styles.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I saw horton played center last season and was on the trading block so I figured he could fill the hole on 2nd line center. I knew he was pretty decent but that was the extent of it

Posted by: _stevo | June 17, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

longterm, Montreal wins out on this because of Eller...

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton

Well, he's not that big. Berglund is bigger, but Eller uses his size more. still, he's average at 6' 1''/200 lbs. He's pretty feisty for mostly being a finesse Euro. I think he's Danish.
--------------------

i don't trust those online measurements either. Ian is listed on the Blues prospect site at 6f1 175. He's closer to around 6ft3 over 200 lbs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure folks already saw this, but in case you did not...

Jackets have announced their pre-season schedule.

Caps@Jackets on 9/22

Jackets@Caps on 10/1

Posted by: Tracy2117 | June 17, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I second tominsocal's entire statement and in the manner it was presented. Fair enough.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Correct, he's 55's brother

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Schultz

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

in that case, i support it too. The Caps PP definitely isn't built for playoff hockey. And McPhee is once again proving to be clueless about what his team's real deficiencies are. His comments imply that DEFENSE is not an issue with his squad and the playoffs proved it. Glossing over the very real possibility that had his team faced a different opponent that he would've seen upfront how much trouble his largely finesse defensive corps would've had with i.e. Flyer forwards.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

i don't trust those online measurements either. Ian is listed on the Blues prospect site at 6f1 175. He's closer to around 6ft3 over 200 lbs.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:51 PM |

Well yeah, considering we're talking about growing boys here, I'm sure those reports aren't accurate. Eller could and should be a bit bigger by now, depending on when those stats were last updated.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse


55's brother?

Posted by: jeets | June 17, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

heck no, even though they're both named Schultz and they both played for Calgary.

Ian is blackntuff, Sarge is whitenweak

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:39 PM

Do you now know why we often question your unsupported statements of fact?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Final question, who would be potential suitor for one of our young goalies and what would return be?

Posted by: flee001

St. Louis. I would imagine you could get something pretty good. Maybe package he and Flash.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 11, 2010 3:35 PM

Posted by: underpants2 | June 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

GMGM told me if only I got past the first # in the Mega Millions the rest would have fall into place so I need to improve my first number.

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

funny - their tenacity levels are worlds apart. Jeff is meek, Ian is a warrior/leader/captain. No Sutter similarity there.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

The Caps PP was good in all three of the other playoff series' they played in. I think it was an aberration and not a trend.

The only thing different about this years PP than last years was there was better net presence (Knuble and Laich). Personally, I thought the PP this past year was improved over the previous two. I don't believe the PP is something to worry about.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Do you now know why we often question your unsupported statements of fact?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

bite me, i coulda looked it up and then posted something i spose. But I've been familiar with Ian Schultz for about 2+ yrs now and I know what his face looked like. So I jumped to the conclusion that they were from different races and it was only a coincidence that they both had the same last names, played for the same junior team, and played totally different styles.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Do you now know why we often question your unsupported statements of fact?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

by the way you realize the irrelevance of that question, right? Facts are easily proven or disproven. Like if I said, Semin scored 5 goals last year.

This board is more about educated opinions that are bandied about and discussed. We don't sit here all day and just post FACTS. What would be the point ? I can go online and look anything up I need to know that's a "fact".

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Canadiens traded Halak to St Louis

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=324934


Posted by: mlody67 | June 17, 2010 3:11 PM


Count on riots in MTL tonight...

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 17, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

CS1

Twin sons of different mothers I suppose - If he is, as you say, tuff then he's definately adopted...bring it on haters.

Posted by: jeets | June 17, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I thought the PP this past year was improved over the previous two. I don't believe the PP is something to worry about.
------

net presence was definitely a big improvement, esp 5 on 5 this year with Laich, Fehr, and MK.

But in the playoffs, consistent net presence wasn't a real factor on the PP until later in the series.

And if we'd played a Philly or Boston, we'd have many other issues to talk about besides our PP. We got lucky that we faced a team that didn't stress our defense out with physicality.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

relax people... he jumped to a logical conclusion... understandable mistake... we're all armchair GM's here having fun, killing time are work... WHAT? did I say that? uuuuhhh lol

I emjoy the kicking around of ideas and potentials...

good call by underpants on a goalie to STL by the way... you just proved more useful than Eklund ever has been.. LOL

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"If he is, as you say, tuff then he's definately adopted...bring it on haters."

hehe

and tuff he is. Blues drafted him and Tyler Shattock in consecutive yrs. Both arguably two of the better bodychecking forwards in the W. Probably why they could afford to part with Ian. They have some depth at that position.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Count on riots in MTL tonight...

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 17, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

the way you avoid ticking off Habs fans is you add at least one french-canadien in every trade return.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

It's really not all that bad of a trade for MTL. An unsigned RFA's rights were traded for 2 noted prospects. Price will be much cheaper than Halak, and the Habs are in salary cap hell.

It'd be funny to see some other team throw an offer-sheet to Halak and Halak deciding not to sign in St. Louis.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

True, but you come on and either state opinions as facts or you make up facts to fit your already formed opinions that you refuse to alter no matter what the actual facts are.

You stated Ian Schultz was black and not Jeff Schultz's brother. If you did not know that to be true then you should have preceded that statement with an "I'm not sure but I think...".

But that wouldn't support your unwavering view of life in general. So you decide to state something as an absolute fact that you have no knowledge of whatsoever. That dampens your credibility when you make future statements.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@smg3:
Semin's original position was LW, he was move to RW because of Ovechkin to try and make an UBER Line!

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/7933/capitals_top20_prospects/

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I trust that link, though. I mean, they have Mike Green listed as a D. ;)

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | June 17, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

No offense, but I threw up in my mouth looking at that line up. Not only do you want to keep Boyd Gordon, but you want him as the 3rd center.

This is worse than the line up we just lost with.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 16, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

rofl! and that 2nd line..ugh

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse


So Gordon scores 2 short-handed goals in the Montreal series and you want to dump him. You don't know anything.

Laich and Gordon are bigger than Fleischmann, Aucoin, or Belanger. You need solid 2-way players to center the 2nd and 3rd lines, particuarly with Semin on the 2nd line who thinks drawing a penalty is forechecking and playing defense.

Fehr doesn't dig the puck out of the corner well enough to put on a line with Semin. They both are all finesse, no grit.

With Laich and Gordon as 2nd and 3rd line centers, you get 2 guys who can set their wingers up to score and also play responsible 2-way hockey and help the defense at the blue line.

You guys are all BS looking for someone outside the organization to come in and magically solve all the problems -- ain't gonna happen. The coaches need to coach up the players we have and develop them.

Down the road A. Gordon and Marcus Johannson are going to earn playing time and help. Until then, expect the Caps to keep the guys they know and work on getting better from within.

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | June 17, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@smg3:

oohhhh, harsh, very harsh! LOL

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

sorry, meant @theDoubleAlex for the "very harsh" comment...

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 17, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

@rb-freedom-for-all

My main worry with B Gordon is his history of back problems. If he is healthy he is a solid player. Personally, I would have him center the 4th line but I could see him centering a 3rd line checking line. He definitely performed well in the playoffs.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

rb-freedom-for-all, nice assesment and true that Gordo did come up big but he's 3/4th line at best while Laich has show to be a better winger than center. Why would Flash be moved to C is Laich is worthy of the look?

As for coaching them up there was none of this in the playoffs this year. Hershey, now that was a coaching up job after being down 0-2 to Texas. BB thinks his style will work if they just keep at it, but it has not worked three years in a row. Three years, some great regular seasons but still no change in style, what coaching is that.

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"With Laich and Gordon as 2nd and 3rd line centers, you get 2 guys who can set their wingers up to score and also play responsible 2-way hockey and help the defense at the blue line"

rb freedom,

Oh he@@ no.

Posted by: Steve_R | June 17, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Steve_R, lets be fair, he said to play Gordo at 3C and Laich and 2C so it's only fair he get a turn.

Posted by: flee001 | June 17, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

What kind of numbers would Semin put up if he had a real 2c feeding him instead of the guys he's had to work with? Laich isn't the answer.

Roll a third line that can score. With Gordo playing 3c that isn't going to happen.

Bring up the youngsters and let B Gordon walk. Let Beags, A Gordon or Pinni get a shot.

Posted by: Steve_R | June 17, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1: come to think of it, you're mostly right about that! See below the sample of any pre-trade/pre-coaching change discussion in the MTL front office:

GAULTIER(sp?): "Is he a Francophone"

GAINEY (hesitantly) "Well, uh...yes he is, but..."

GAULTIER: (cutting Gainey off) "Nevermind that--he's hired!"

Strange but true: There is an obscure NHL rule which may even still be on the books--but which the Habs last invoked in (I think) the early 1970's.

It states that the Montreal Canadiens have the right of "first dibs" on ANY French Canadian player entering the League.

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 17, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

I'd be fine with that. If healthy, I would prefer B Gordon over Steckel as the 4th line center though.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

So Gordon scores 2 short-handed goals in the Montreal series and you want to dump him. You don't know anything.

Laich and Gordon are bigger than Fleischmann, Aucoin, or Belanger. You need solid 2-way players to center the 2nd and 3rd lines, particuarly with Semin on the 2nd line who thinks drawing a penalty is forechecking and playing defense.

Fehr doesn't dig the puck out of the corner well enough to put on a line with Semin. They both are all finesse, no grit.

With Laich and Gordon as 2nd and 3rd line centers, you get 2 guys who can set their wingers up to score and also play responsible 2-way hockey and help the defense at the blue line.

You guys are all BS looking for someone outside the organization to come in and magically solve all the problems -- ain't gonna happen. The coaches need to coach up the players we have and develop them.

Down the road A. Gordon and Marcus Johannson are going to earn playing time and help. Until then, expect the Caps to keep the guys they know and work on getting better from within.

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | June

We have gone as far as we are gonna go with Boyd Gordon on the team. He has no contract, therefore, he needs to go. Steckel has a contract, he has to stay.

There is a greater chance someone coming from outside the organization solves the problems rather than Boyd Gordon. He has no offensive upside, and will not be getting better. A Hershey player gives us much more in his spot. Gordon is a 4th liner, at best.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 17, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Strange but true: There is an obscure NHL rule which may even still be on the books--but which the Habs last invoked in (I think) the early 1970's.

It states that the Montreal Canadiens have the right of "first dibs" on ANY French Canadian player entering the League.

Posted by: Rhino40 | June 17, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

i heard that about 20 yrs ago and was never able to verify it. crazy. Explains a lot of the Habs successes.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I think the only free agent signing the Caps should make is on a defenseman. Niedermayer is expensive, Volchenkov isn't worth 5 million, Kubina is just awful, and something tells me if Hamhuis comes to D.C. we are going to be disappointed with him. There are plenty of cheap defenseman who can do the job just as well as those guys mentioned above (except Kubina)

Posted by: hockeynightincanada | June 17, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

@Steve_R

I'd be fine with that. If healthy, I would prefer B Gordon over Steckel as the 4th line center though.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

of course you would. Steckel is big, fairly physical, wins battles along the boards, will even drop the gloves on occasion, longer reach etc.

Gordo is quicker. That's his only advantage. They both see the ice well, they both have defensive instincts, they both were ex-1st rounders who had to switch to a more defensive role to make it.

faceoff-wise I'd opt for Steckel although %wise they're both fairly even. He can outmuscle and match up with a lot of other big centers on other teams. We've used Steckel in the past to shut down the other team's top center. You never see Gordo in that role. When we had injuries 2 yrs ago and Gordo got promoted to the 2nd line briefly, his line sucked. They couldn't do squat.
Then Steckel got the job and immediately made that line better. They even got a goal right off the bat.

But the big key is that Steckel's more durable. Gordo can't go a single season without his back acting up or something else going on. At the end of the season, Steckel's the workhorse who's still around.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

btw this past yr - STeckel with 115 hits to Gordo's 18 hits. Not many "grinders" finish less checks than Boyd Gordon. Compare the way he plays to the 3rd and 4th line centers on other teams, big difference.

2008-09 playoffs- Steckel with 26 hits, Gordo with 9 hits. Same # of games played. Steckel despite his speed deficiency is still able to get on top of his man and be an effective forechecker. You don't get credit for hits behind the play.

2008 reg season - Steckel 91 hits, Gordo with 33.

Gordo is non-physical, and non-durable. Time to jettison!

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

oh and finally

2007 season
Both played 67 games

Steckel with 91 hits. Gordo with 19.

Sorry, but I want my "checking" or "energy" line center to play with a bit more cojones.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

That rule with the habs getting first shot at any player from the QMJHL ended years ago. Hockey didn't even have a draft I think until sometime maybe late 60s, before that teams could just sign based maybe on territory. Montreal had rights to Quebec. I think maybe they changed to a draft when they added the 6 new teams in 1967. Montreal though was grandfathered in a year or two first dib at Quebec player and the last chosen under that rule might have been Lafleur.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

how could they trade away Jesus who just stonewalled the highest scoring and the most talented hockey team on the planet?

maybe they felt that it was more of a TEAM effort than just the goalie??

Posted by: joek443 | June 17, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I agree that Gordon's injury history is a big concern and a possible reason to go another way. I stated "if healthy" before my statement.

I was a disappointed with Steckel this year. He did a wonderful job against Malkin two years ago in the playoffs and I thought he was going to become one of the best 4th line centers in the league. He just seemed to be slower this year.

I like Steckel. I like what he brings to the team and I feel he has a role. But I think $1.1M/yr is too much for him and that there are plenty of other options out there that can be had for less money.

I'm hoping that maybe he got a little lazy after signing the contract and will come back in better shape next year after being benched in the playoffs.

With all the injuries Gordon has gone through you have to admit that he came up big in the playoffs this year. He is one of only a few Caps who played better than what was expected of him.

On faceoffs, Gordon being a right handed center is nice since he is the only one on the team right now. This could easily change though with acquisitions in the off season.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

LaFleur, lol

what was the commercial where they're making fun of that name. "The Flower"
was that rick moranis from the strange brew crew?

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

actually sgm, i totally agree with you.

steckel for some odd reason, seemed slower. I wonder if he played hurt. He was poised i thought to have a breakout yr. Got that new contract not too long ago, it looked like he was being groomed as a 3rd liner.

anyway, good points.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

Thanks.

Another reason to keep Steckel is his play against Malkin. As much as we all hate the Pens they are going to be the most consistent competition in the East.

With how big Malkin is you definitely need a guy with size to guard him. Steckel fits that bill perfectly, as was seen before.

Hopefully Steckel was either injured or out of shape and will come back faster next year. He is too young to already be losing speed due to age so it had to have been another reason.

Well, you have sold me on keeping Steckel as 4th line center next year. As long as the Caps have him training hard in the offseason to improve his speed.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

With all the injuries Gordon has gone through you have to admit that he came up big in the playoffs this year. He is one of only a few Caps who played better than what was expected of him.
---------

yep, i thought Gordo had his best performance. Frankly, he's stunk in the playoffs the past 2 yrs before this year. He was downright invisible v the Flyers 2yrs ago. Just didn't come to play, thought he could just skate around without running into anyone. He had Brashear riding shotgun for him and still only managed 4 hits in 7 games. That's like Semin territory. And honestly, Semin's performance was much grittier. I don't remember any of Gordo's 4 hits. I think he hacked the nhl stats site and added those #s. He's the least physical grinder in the NHL.

Easily replaceable now with Hershey's players coming up. I was hoping once we got Belanger that we wouldn't see Gordo. But I think the Montreal matchup gave him a lineup spot because of the speed element.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

I agree that the Habs were a perfect matchup for Gordon.

I don't think he would have seen the ice against the Flyers, Bruins or Pens.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

yeah, i hope Steckel considers 2009 to be a disappointment. He didn't kill penalties very well and he looked worn down or something. I think losing his spot in the playoff lineup has to be a big motivator for him this offseason.

the good news for Steckel fans is that Boudreau likes him a lot. And Steckel was probably the #1 penalty killing forward in the AHL a few yrs ago. Hershey fans can attest to this. He was amazing in 5-on-3 situations where he would just dominate the PP units on the ice. I was hoping to see that at this level more.

Here's what he had to say LAST offseason. Agree w/his comments on the chemistry he had with Brads and Laich
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalsinsider/catching-up-with-steckel.html

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

What's this about Ian and Jeff Schultz being brothers? I just looked at Ian's picture. If those guys are brothers, then Cameron Diaz is my sister.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

tarik, maybe this subject is worthy of an article (at least I'd like to know) or maybe someone else has all the info in one place--can someone give us a comprehensive snapshot of the whole team from a standpoint of who is contractually committed for 2010-2011 and their cap hit against the $55mm the team has to play with? just interested to get a starting point--thx!

Posted by: ovckn8 | June 17, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

After reading that link I remembered how great that line was during the 2009 playoffs. It got me thinking and how about these for possible lines.

LW/C/RW
Ovie/Backs/Knuble
Semin/(acquired UFA)/Fehr
Laich/Steckel/Bradley
Chimera/(Beagle or MP)/A. Gordon

This should leave the Caps with enough cap room to acquire a top defender (Volchenkov or Martin) and a quality #2 center (Plekanec or Lombardi).

Beagle is more of a 4th line center than MP but I like MP and think him being paired with Chimera and A. Gordon could be more of an energy line.

While the Laich, Steckel, Bradley line will be the defensive checking line. I think Laich can be better if he focused more on defense and checking than playmaking.

And the 2nd line would be the #1 scoring line on most teams in the NHL.

Thoughts?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

I actually like it! i don't love it, but it's not half bad!

It doesn't leave us with to much wiggleroom for #2C and top-4 D though. Aprox. 6 million (asuming Erskine is gone), if the CBA remains the same.

Posted by: Walle | June 17, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

After reading that link I remembered how great that line was during the 2009 playoffs. It got me thinking and how about these for possible lines.

LW/C/RW
Ovie/Backs/Knuble
Semin/(acquired UFA)/Fehr
Laich/Steckel/Bradley
Chimera/(Beagle or MP)/A. Gordon

This should leave the Caps with enough cap room to acquire a top defender (Volchenkov or Martin) and a quality #2 center (Plekanec or Lombardi).

Beagle is more of a 4th line center than MP but I like MP and think him being paired with Chimera and A. Gordon could be more of an energy line.

While the Laich, Steckel, Bradley line will be the defensive checking line. I think Laich can be better if he focused more on defense and checking than playmaking.

And the 2nd line would be the #1 scoring line on most teams in the NHL.

Thoughts?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 7:50

I like it. I would move MP to 3, and Steckel to 4. I would also rather see A. Gordon on 3, and Bradley on 4.

I really hope we can parlay Flash and something else for Weiss. Could be a pretty sick 2nd line: Semin/Weiss/Fehr

Trading season is open!

Posted by: underpants2 | June 17, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

@underpants2

Having Weiss on that 2nd line would be nice. That would be a great 2nd line.

I was thinking of putting Laich with Steckel and Bradley in hopes of seeing the magic they had in the 2009 playoffs. But the 4th and 3rd liners can be interchanged to whatever the best mix would be.

@Walle

Yeah, I was assuming Erskine is gone. Would this only leave the Caps $6M for the D and 2nd line center?

The D being
Schultz/Green
Poti/(UFA)
Alzner/Carlson
7th D: Sloan (or any other cheap replacement)

Goalies being Varly and Neuvy.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, if this is what you want, then yes.

Ovi-Backs-Knuble
Semin-UFA-Fehr
Laich-Steckel-Bradley
Chimera-MP-Gordon

Scultz-Green
Poti-UFA
Alzner-Carlson
Sloan

Varly-Neuvy

Your payroll would be $50.217m + that you might want to carry an extra attacker also.

Posted by: Walle | June 17, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Cap should go up to $58m, we should have at least $8m. Depends on how much Schultz and Fehr get. We could get more.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 17, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I forgot to write that, i have both Fehr and Schultz at 2,1..

And Weiss is 3,1 million for 3 more years with a NMC

Posted by: Walle | June 17, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

How much is Hamhuis gonna be? With the cap going up, we should have a little over $4m left. Volchenkov's probably out of reach.

Posted by: underpants2 | June 17, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the cap is supposed to be at about $58.8.

So about $8M for a 2nd line center and a D-man. If the Caps can get Weiss at $3.1M then that leaves almost $5M for a defenseman. The Caps would like to leave some room if they can ($500k or so) for later moves.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Salary Cap = 58.8
Caps are at 55.5

incl Ovi, Backs, Knuble, Semin, Laich, Chimera, Bradley, Steckel, Perreault per signed contract + Fehr 2.25, Flash 2.75, Gordon 0.9 and Laing 0.55 assumed; and Green, Alzner, Poti, Carlson, Sloan, Erskine per signed contract and Schultz 2.25 assumed; and Neuvy and Varly per EL signed deals.

You can takeaway and add to your heart's content so long as you don't add more than 3.3. Easiest way to do it is subtract Flash and Erskine for $4M + available space of $3.3M = $7.3M for your defender and your #2C. More later - steaks are off the grill.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

If the cap goes up then it should be doable.

I just don't really "feel" it. I like the L-S-B line, but MP as #4C with Chimera on one flank doesn't do it for me.

Then i rather have Bradley-Steckel-Chimera (even though the good chemistry) as 4th and MP with Laich on the 3rd.

And i still don't think we need to go all out to get a longterm-signed, semi-young #2C with more offence then defence. We have that position covered in a couple years for much cheaper. Get a veteran with good PK-skills aka Saku Koivu for 1-2 years at 3 mill, give or take to bridge the gap.

Posted by: Walle | June 17, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

@Walle

I think Saku Koivu is a viable option for 2nd line center. If Weiss can be acquired he would be a good choice ($3.1M is a pretty decent price too). Lombardi could also be a good selection. There may be other trade possibilities too.

I would be interested to see how MP could do with Chimera and A Gordon. Chimera has lots of speed and plays with energy. MP plays with a lot of energy. I do not too much about A Gordon but from what I read he plays aggressively. I just see this as a possible energy line.

I like the LSB line for a checking line because they are all defensively responsible veterans who know how to play their positions. I also think with their size and desire to check that they could be a good cycling line.

Of course, the 3rd and 4th lines could be adjusted accordingly if they were not working out as desired.

I'd have Laing as the 13th forward also. Maybe Beagle too.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Weiss would have to be aquired via trade, which means giving something up, plus that he has to waive his NMC, so it seems pretty farfetched. Though he, also, would be good on our second line.

But i would rather trade for a D instead of a #2C, because all the UFA D's is going to get overpaid. (and i would make an offersheet for Hjalmarsson instead of signing Schultz, but thats me)

The idea of MP with Chimera being a energyline using their speed sounds good in theory, i would just like MP to play with a more of a scorer type. That's not Chimera imo.
And yes, A.Gordon might be that guy, but i haven't seen enough of him to say yes or no.

Posted by: Walle | June 17, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Everyone keeps forgetting about Pinner.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Also, Martin is a RFA and will be re-signed with the Devils. I keep seeing his name come up for some reason.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

@Walle

I would love to get Hjalmarsson too but I think another team will give him an offer of over $3.5M and give up the 2nd round pick. He will have a lot of people going after him. The Caps don't have heir 2nd round pick in 2011 so they can't do that.

I think it is wise to stick with Schultz since he will likley only cost aroun $2.25M and is improving significantly each year. He is getting less and less clumsy as he is growing into his body. Schultz is a good deal at that price, IMO.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes he is. Either way, he is going to re-sign with the Devils.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

He might, but there have been a lot of articles out in the past few weeks stating that there is a good chance he is leaving. This is why the Devils have been attached to rumors involing so many defensemen.

It was said that no negotiations would take place until a coach was hired. Now he has been hired it will be interesting to see if anything develops over the next two weeks. Remember, the Devils are dealing with Kovalchuk too.

He very well may re-sign, but there have been no indications that is set in stone.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Phil: I'm not forgetting about Pinner. In my list, I used the 20 skaters with most seniority in the system with the Caps. The problem with the "list" is it is incredibly weak at C with Backstrom, Perreault, Steckel and Gordon. Given free reign myself, I can't see keeping Chimera at $1.875 and not keeping Pinnozzotto (sp?) who is signed at like 550. I think that's a much more sensible tradeoff than trading Bradley and promoting Beagle for $150K savings. For instance, we are much stronger with Belanger and Pinner than Chimera and Gordo I think even though the Chimera-Gordo combo is about $300K more expensive.

A lot depends on the Semin decision. Assuming Flash is gone, and I don't mean to diss him, he can be a #1 winger on some teams, but w/o him, and Semin and Fehr on line #2, if you are keeping Semin, I really like Laich as #3LW, with Belanger and say AGordon. I think this is much better checking line than Chimera-MP-AG.

The strongest the Caps can be is with Backie-Koivu-Belanger-Steckel as centers unless you move Semin for say Staal. In this scenario, Chimera is maybe odd man out with Flash. Fehr on 3rd line is senseless with Belanger, so he goes on #2 w/Semin who goes back to LW. The 4th line then with AG on 3rd line becomes Bradley and Pinner between Steckel. Chimera off and Belanger on is cap neutral so just like above you have the $7.3M for Koivu at $3M and a really decent defender at $4.3M.

Flash, Gordo, MP, Chimera = gone; Belanger, Koivu, AGordon, Pinner = up. Cap neutral! You still have the 3.3 + Erskine to get a $4.5M defender.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

@ sgm3

Yes, Hjalmarsson will probably have lots of offers, maybe we can have Bäckström talk to him ;)
I like him over schultz because he's faster on his skates and a better shotblocker. Schultz isn't using his size yet, but hopefully he grows in to it.
I'm in awe of the Hawks smoothskating defence, which seems to be the success-recepie for the future.

Does it neccesary have to be next years 2nd round pick?
And, (probably a stupid question) is he allowed to take a hometown discount even though he gets offered more elsewhere?

@ richmondphil

I've never really seen Pinner play, so i have no idea how to use him in my imaginary line-up.

Posted by: Walle | June 17, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

sgm: $3.5M for RFA = 1st + a 3rd. The dividing line is about 3.1 - under is a #2 and above 1st and 3rd (unless you are under 1.5 or so then it is just a #3).

Hjalmarsson didn't impress me as much as some of you all were impressed. I was thinking he was beneficiary of overall Hawks having great team D. Some team for sure will offer near the max for a #2 only pick and, as we've discussed, the Hawks are penalized next year, having only about $55M in space, and already 14 players at about $57M, with Huet essentially untradeable and Campbell with limited movement (8 teams), and Niemi the #1 priority, so guys like Hjall and Eager are low-hanging fruit there for the picking.

The question with Hjall will any team pony up the 1st and the 3rd. Good teams with picks near 25-30 would be more willing but then again they don't have the cap space.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

In our imaginary lineup above we had A. Gordon as the 4th line winger and assumed the Caps were dropping B Gordon. I'm assuming A Gordon will be around $600k.

Chimera at $1.875 may be too much, but he is pretty solid. I like him on the bottom two lines.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

All RFAs signed this offseason must, I believe, be settled with 2011 (not 2010, that draft will be over) draft picks.

Once a player goes RFA, he has two options: sign with original club at whatever salary they agree to or sign an offer sheet with another club. Once signed to an offer sheet, the original club can match or accept the compensation. That's all there is to that. There might also be trade limitations once the original club matches the offer (if they do), not sure about that, since I don't think a "sign and trade" like with NBA is allowable.

Naturally a player like Hjallmarsson could really foul up the Hawks by opting for arbitration. Then, the Hawks would be bound by the decision or they would have to let him walk (sometime around Aug 15th) as a UFA. With the Hawks so hard-pressed against the cap, it wouldn't surprise me if some of their players did that; again, I don't know if a player once he declared for arbitration could be traded before the decision came down.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

He might, but there have been a lot of articles out in the past few weeks stating that there is a good chance he is leaving. This is why the Devils have been attached to rumors involing so many defensemen.

It was said that no negotiations would take place until a coach was hired. Now he has been hired it will be interesting to see if anything develops over the next two weeks. Remember, the Devils are dealing with Kovalchuk too.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 17, 2010 10:48 PM |

What I have read is quite the contrary. It said that Martin is Lou's #1 priority and he will be re-signed as soon as possible.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 17, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

sgm3: If you put a gun to my head and the question you ask is Chimera or Belanger, next year on Caps, both at $1.875M, I will take Belanger.

We are much weaker both in DC and Hershey at center than at winger. Plus, if you sign Belanger, and trade Chimera, you have an asset for the trade, whereas the other way around you don't.

Asd Forrest Gump would say, that's all I have to say about that one.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I really don't see Hjalmarsson getting >3,1mil offers after his first full season. But i do think he is good enough to make an offer for. Maybe he was benificiating from their good D, but he was also contributing to their good D.
He made Campbell look really good and i was hoping he could do the same for Mike Green.

And regarding the Hawks, Huet is going to get send to the minors, so his caphit will be gone.

Posted by: Walle | June 17, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

You know, the only thing Chimera does well is skate. All of his other skills arre NHL-average or NHL-below average. If he were a student, he'd have a B, two C's and two D's. Then, in the teacher's commentary, it would say, "Yaps but doesn't fight."

It is really, really, really a shame two years ago that we couldn't keep Matt Cooke at a measley $1.2M due to the Nylander contract. What a bargain, and the guy even plays a decent shift on the PK. Chimera doesn't do Cooke's job even though he gets 50% more.

I guess unlike Forrest Gump I had even more to say about that one.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Walle: Remember, with Huet, if the Hawks send him down, they can't bring him back up ANYTIME DURING THE YEAR w/o exposing him to re-entry waivers. And, should he get claimed, the Hawks would be responsible for half his salary and cap hit, and up against the cap ceiling, they'd be over at that instant.

This means even if they can re-sign Niemi and in your scenario with Huet in minors they must have two more goalies, one on roster and one in minors who is still on EL and can be brought up and down as required.

Sure it must be nice to be the Hawks today but next year they have more problems than some politicians also from their city.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 17, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I think they want to ship Huet to Europe actually, but you are correct sir.

I like what Chimera brings to the game, but there are a lot of players that can do the same job for less $.

Posted by: Walle | June 17, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

whatever problems the Hawks have with the cap, that's a small price to pay in winning the Cup... they're not gonna lose Toews, Kane, Big Buff, Seabrook, Keith, Niemi and a couple others.

They will be with the team for the next 10 years and the team will always be in the mix come playoff time. if they didn't win the Cup this year then they would be in real serious trouble. But they did and once you win the Cup, nothing and nobody can take it away from you.

Posted by: joek443 | June 17, 2010 11:55 PM | Report abuse

joek443: I'll bet you over the next ten years Caps have more ECF appearances, wins and SCF wins than Hawks (WCF). Hawks have, in the vernacular, "shot their wad."

My over/under next year for Hawks is 5th in the West. We'll see in the Playoffs, but clearly they will lose the edge their fringe players bring.

The question for SCF winner for 2011 is which team is best poised to have that collection of fringe players who, like the guy on the Lakers who came off the bench to hit two FT with ten seconds left, can make a difference.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

This article thinks Big Buff is one of the more likely Hawks to be traded:

http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/The_Grinder/entry/view/69125/five-who-could-be-on-the-move

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

BTW, joek, you forget to list Hossa, and in the games I watched, he was MVP of the Finals.

And to think the hawks only signed him because they cheated on the cap.

C'mon, Bettman, show us you have at least one disk worth of a backbone, and penalize Hawks and Flyers (Pronger) #1 picks next year for salary cap evasion.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I understand your view on Chimera and it is reasonable. I guess I just like him a little more.

I think having a big guy with his speed is key to a 4th line because he can create those chances against 3rd pairing defenders and draw penalties. He also seems to be able to sneak past the defense a few times a game. His seems to make a few good plays a game with his speed. He doesn't cash in on many because he has poor stick skills, but for a 3rd or 4th liners it is about creating chances. He does crash the net a lot too and has no fear of running into the goalie.

He does have hands of stone though, no question. I would also prefer to have Cooke over Chimera also.

The $1.875M he is making is too much, but I don't think it is terrible.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

Here is a piece pulled from an article by Scott Burnside today about the Devils:

"This summer, there could be the departure of yet another crucial part of the Devils' lineup in defenseman Paul Martin, who, sources told ESPN.com, has yet to begin contract talks with the team (he will be among the most sought-after defensemen on the free-agent market)."

Here is the link to the article

http://espn.go.com/nhl/blog/_/name/nhl/id/5298917/devils-issues-go-coach

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

One of the most interesting concepts I have ever read was in the link that sgm provided for "Five Players Maybe on the Move."

Was it the list of the five players? You all should know me better than that. What do I care about most? Food? Sex? Money?

.....numbers..........?...........!

And what tidbit did you glean from that article? Huh? You didn't notice? Huh...the idea that the NHL players might REJECT the proposed salary cap increase???

"But, tominsocal1, why would players in their right minds reject more money?"

Heh, hehe, heh. So, why did the NBA union vote to limit salaries of incoming rookies?

Because, in a world where the pot is capped, when you control the raises to the smaller group, you increase the money to the larger (voting) group.

Gather round, boys and girls, get your bottles, and tominsocal1 will explain.

Once upon a time the owners and players agreed that the players would get a fixed piece of the pie. The players signed contracts, but there was a 12% holdback on their salaries until the revenue sharing dictated the player pool and therefore how much of their salaries they actually got.

Let me make it simple...Ovechkin "gets" $9M next year...if the players' total salaries are $900M, he gets 1% of the pool, whatever that is; but, if cap goes up $2M/team, and total becomes $1B in two years, he then gets 0.9% of the pool.

Bottom line...the more the average team salary goes up, with a fixed amount in the players' pool based on revenue, the less actual dollars Ovechkin collects as the final percentage payoff against his $9M contract.

Most of you don't give a rat's a$$ about all this, doubtful more than a handful of us anal finance types understand it, but it explains in crystal clear terms why those players who have already signed a long-term deal would be against a rise in the salary cap.

As Forrest Gump would say, "My Mama don't give a rat's a$$ about all this, but she always said, 'Greedy is as greedy does.'"

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

What I read were that Martin and the Devils were close to re-signing.

You do know the irony in posting a Devils-related Burnside article, right?

Posted by: richmondphil | June 18, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

I will try and explain this in clear mathematics...but first, a word from Jose Cuervo.

OK, let's say the league revenue is $3B. And, let's say the players' pool is fixed at 50%. Let's do the math...the players get $1.5B.

Now let's just say the salary cap is $50M/team and all 30 teams spend the $50M so that, in total, they "spend" $1.5B.

Voila! The pool value and the actual spend are both $1.5B, so the players in this scenario get 100% of their contracts.

Now let's say the revenue goes up $3B to $4B. Players are entitled to 50% now or $2B instead of $1.5M. But let's say the players keep the cap at $50M/team rather than allowing it to rise...what does this mean...it means the same players getting 50% of $3B for $1.5B now get 50% of $4B for $2B...but, if we kept the salaries fixed at $1.5B, because we kept the cap from rising, each player now gets 1.33% of his salary, so that Alex Ovechkin with a signed contract of $9M would get $12M in actual paychecks.

So, Alex, how do you vote to increase or not the salary cap?

"Nyet."

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

What is the irony of it?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I thought the reason the players would vote against it is because the increase in cap would also increase the % of their salary that would have to be placed in escrow.

So people like Ovie would be seeing less of his paycheck than he is seeing today.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

While the Laich, Steckel, Bradley line will be the defensive checking line. I think Laich can be better if he focused more on defense and checking than playmaking.

And the 2nd line would be the #1 scoring line on most teams in the NHL.

Thoughts?
====

my thoughts are that I have thought along the same lines. I think Steck centering Brads and Laich would be a very acceptable 3rd line. Assuming Steckel comes back strong. However...Chimera is NOT suited to be a 4th liner. He doesn't hit. He skates great. I'd put Beags as 4th line center and rotate AG and Pinizotto or see if one of them can play the other wing position. I'm pretty sure Pinizotto can because he gets a lot of time on the wing on the PK so he has to play both lanes. But yeah overall, i like it.

except i'd still wanna deal semin, lol

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 18, 2010 2:25 AM | Report abuse

btw, Chimera to me is Mike Grier but a little less physical. Grier and Chimera are both peas in a pod. Have a hard time handling the puck, very good size and explosion but neither play upto their size, and both terrible fighters.

and yeah, i still wanna see Ian and Jeff Schultz's DNA testing. I don't get it. One of them is adopted.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 18, 2010 2:28 AM | Report abuse

Caps actually had a very solid player in their system they let go. And he had a very solid yr in his first pro season in Col

Matt Hendricks. He's like Ian LaPerriere. Defensive-minded ornery checking center who can also play wing and he's very strong on his skates. Its just comical to me that the Caps cut ties with guys like that and Staffan Kronwall

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 18, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

What is the irony of it?

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 1:16 AM |

I guess irony is the wrong word to use, but it's just funny because Burnside is infamous for constantly saying year after year the Devils will bomb for one reason or another while year after year the Devils make the playoffs.

Ask a Devils fan about how they feel about Burnside, haha.

Posted by: richmondphil | June 18, 2010 6:37 AM | Report abuse

whatever happens this offseason, and by all the chatter i can't say i'm optimistic, i dread the thought of watching another year of euro/college hockey at the nhl level.....we need a tough, no-nonsense player who commands the respect of other players and who can get the fans amped-up everytime he's on the ice

Posted by: vermontcaps | June 18, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Here is a short article of how Martin reacted to the hiring of MacLean.

http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/nhlblog/report_devils_martin_may_still_test_zzrrSLp7FcJCCfRhbcdeMK

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

My over/under next year for Hawks is 5th in the West. We'll see in the Playoffs, but clearly they will lose the edge their fringe players bring.

The question for SCF winner for 2011 is which team is best poised to have that collection of fringe players who, like the guy on the Lakers who came off the bench to hit two FT with ten seconds left, can make a difference.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the two million people who came out for the Hawks' parade last week really care what they had to do to win the Cup. They did what they had to do to end one of the longest championship drought in all of sports, just like the Rangers did what they had to do to end theirs in 94.

you can say all you want about how poised and ready the Caps are to win multiple Cups in the next decade and their conservative approach but this is a team that has NEVER won anything in their history. but they still act like they're the Lakers or the Wings without any hardware.

Posted by: joek443 | June 18, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

also a lot of people talk about being lucky to win the Cup but you know what? they WERE lucky this year because they didn't have any major injury problems except Varly's and he was healthy for the playoffs.

the only luck you can hope for is with injuries and they stayed healthy for the most part. don't count on that being the case every year.

Posted by: joek443 | June 18, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

cstanton: I'm going to disagree, respectfully, where you say Chimera is very similar to Grier, especially if you mean the Grier back when he was with the Caps. He was an excellent defensive forward, well above average, excellent on the PK, and scored a number of SH goals.

Chimera is a fine player, however my opinion is he is not as good in most areas of the game as Grier was when he was with the Caps. It's just of all the players on the Caps who might be most replaceable, by a player from Hershey, to get the most cap savings, Chimera is perhaps that guy. OTOH, if we sign ShaMo at like $2M, then Poti becomes that guy.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

in contrast, i don't expect the Caps to learn any valuable lessons from their 1st round loss. McPhee was only too eager to point out that the loss was due to a lack of PP scoring....great!

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 17, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

That's because you just love to bash GMGM and Bruce, and you love to be negative about the team. Try being positive once in a while. Our PP was a huge reason we lost. When you go 1 for 33 on it, that's an immense problem. If we had just scored even 1-2 more PP goals in the last 3 games, we'd probably have moved on to round 2. Do we have other problems? Sure. But our defense and goaltending didn't cost us that series. Our goal-scoring or lack thereof is what cost us, and that's what we're supposed to be good at.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | June 18, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

2Alex: Not that I'm the person to defend cstanton, I'm sure he'll come by and rip your head off himself, but that wasn't the point. The point was that even if the Caps got past Montreal, the team wasn't configured defensively for a long playoff run. And, on top of that, it wasn't just that the "power play failed," it's the reason it failed that worries us. Specifically, Montreal employed a slot-clogging defense that not only twarted the PP, but the Caps at ES as well. And, unlike Mr. French at Hershey, the Caps failed to adapt and adopt, like Hershey did, an uglier style to suit the occasion.

It's like a person saying, "Gee, if my boss had given me the raise I asked for, I would have paid my bills." Yes, but if you hadn't wasted so much on trivial stuff, you could have paid your bills that way. It isn't the obvious failure that bothers some of us, but the fact that it wasn't planned for. Kinda like that little oil spill, no?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I have to disagree with you here. The Caps PP was fine in the other playoff series' and this years had more net presence than either of the previous two years.

The Caps did do a poor job of keeping possession of the puck but they just missed too many shots. They had plenty of opportunities but they missed a number of shots high and/or wide. It was just poor shooting from guys who normally shoot very well. (Halak also played well on the Habs PK too).

I still vehemently disagree that the Caps would not have matched up well against other teams if they had won. Cstanton even admitted that B Gordon was successful against the Habs because of the matchup, well that is an example of how certain matchups are can be either beneficial or detrimental to players or teams.

I still believe the Caps matched up against Philly very well because of the number of shots and scoring opportunities they get and I don't think Phill's goaltending could hold up against a good offense (i.e. Chicago).

@cstanton1 I know you disagree with this, which is fine, but please do not respond to this. I'm not looking to debate this anymore but just wanted to share my opinion with tominsocal1.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

sgm: Remember, part of the reason the Caps missed so many shots was that the Montreal players were blocking the path to the goal. The Caps tried the shooting gallery approach and it didn't work. Yes, the PP failed, part because they missed open shots, part because Halak was great, part because so many shots were blocked and part because the Caps refused to work hard enough to get any ugly goals.

And, yes, Caps might have made it several more rounds. You and I agree though that for them to be truly superior, a few tweaks must be made. Honestly, do you expect they would have beaten the Hawks? I don't.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I do not think the Caps would have beaten the Hawks unless Varly stood on his head. The Hawks would have scored many goals on the Caps D. I think it would have been sort of like the Caps/Pens series two years ago. Except maybe only 6 games.

I'm in full agreement with the tweaks mentioned and the need for more balance. The Caps desperately need a top 2 shut down D-man. A quality 2nd center is 2nd most important need. Calling up some guys from Hershey to play on the 4th line is also a good play.

However, I could see the Caps only calling up 1 Hershey forward. It would be a little dangerous to play with more than 4 rookies on the roster (Carlso, Alzner, Neuvy, and forward).

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

I agree with your reasoning of the failed PP. It was a mix of all those things.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

However, I could see the Caps only calling up 1 Hershey forward. It would be a little dangerous to play with more than 4 rookies on the roster (Carlso, Alzner, Neuvy, and forward).

Posted by: sgm3


Why do you feel that would be dangerous in the regular season?? Let the kids get the experience they need and if they show signs of immaturity you go out at the deadline and pick up a couple vets for the playoffs. The more rookies that play the more cap room available at the trade deadline!

Posted by: PhilR | June 18, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@sgm3:
don't worry about the NHL penalzing the Flyers, they did it to themselves with Pronger's contract...

apparently when Chris retires, his 5 mil cap hit will still count against the Flyers until the contract is up per Dregger

So essentially, the Flyers screwed themselves once he retires
http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/darren_dreger/?id=284062

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 18, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@PhilR

I'm not saying that I'm necessarily against it. The only problem would be if you enter the playoffs and you are playing 5 or more rookies. That could be risky. But the Caps could always try to make a deadline move to acquire a veteran.

I'm guessing that most teams who are at the top of the league do not usually have that many rookies playing.

I'm just pointing out the other side of the argument on this. I have been leaning towards having all those guys up.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

FrankM: That article is almost a year old. My understanding from reading the CBA is that the Pronger hit stops when he retires since he signed the extension before turning 35 and would retire after turning 35. I didn't think the kick-in date of the contract's effectiveness was relevant but, as always, could be wrong.

sgm: I was going to type a response but PhilR said my thoughts. Let the Hershey guys play and then you have cap space for a vet or two next March 1st. Let's hope the acquisitions next year pan out like in '08 rather than how they did this year.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

2Alex: Not that I'm the person to defend cstanton, I'm sure he'll come by and rip your head off himself, but that wasn't the point. The point was that even if the Caps got past Montreal, the team wasn't configured defensively for a long playoff run. And, on top of that, it wasn't just that the "power play failed," it's the reason it failed that worries us. Specifically, Montreal employed a slot-clogging defense that not only twarted the PP, but the Caps at ES as well. And, unlike Mr. French at Hershey, the Caps failed to adapt and adopt, like Hershey did, an uglier style to suit the occasion.

It's like a person saying, "Gee, if my boss had given me the raise I asked for, I would have paid my bills." Yes, but if you hadn't wasted so much on trivial stuff, you could have paid your bills that way. It isn't the obvious failure that bothers some of us, but the fact that it wasn't planned for. Kinda like that little oil spill, no?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

you should speak for me more often, you do a better job of it than i do.

"because the Caps refused to work hard enough to get any ugly goals."

that is in essence why they would have lost every series. The posturing every time they lose a series and pinpointing something like the a) PP or b) lucky bounces or c)hot goalies
has to end. It just prolongs their success.
I have absolutely no respect for McPhee in this regard. He's a classic cover-his-own-butt kinda GM. Never owns up to his mistakes and spins everything to make himself look great.

The Caps, regardless of WHO they had played, would've lost because they weren't ready for the level of consistent effort it takes to win in the playoffs. So whether that lack of effort was displayed in PP results or whatever, this was a team who all season long had issues matching their work ethic to their superior skill levels. And you can't have any dropoff in effort in the playoffs if you want to have a long run. And yeah defensively, had we faced the Bruins or Flyers, their forwards would've given our D more fits than Montreal's did. Our D is more suited to playing a finesse type of team ala the Habs. You get bruising forecheckers bearing down on our defense and you'll see how quickly they crumble.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 18, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

You cut off half of his sentence when "quoting" him. Come on, take things for how they are.

tominsocal1 said:

"Yes, the PP failed, part because they missed open shots, part because Halak was great, part because so many shots were blocked and part because the Caps refused to work hard enough to get any ugly goals."

So the effort was a PART of the reason the PP failed, NOT the reason it failed.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree with cstanton though basic point - the Caps are an example of superior talent that doesn't sometimes work as hard as a lesser talent. You see it in school; you see it at work; you see it in sports; you see it everywhere. It's the same thing that the peson with great looks often has no personality because they got what they wanted without one. Life is nothing if not the same thing repeated and repeated.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | June 18, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/27172-.html
"Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the Flyers would be on the hook for the entire $4.92 million cap hit for each of the next seven seasons regardless of whether Pronger retires or not, because the contract kicks in after Pronger turns 35 (he turns 35 this October). But there is speculation the Flyers believe that since Pronger actually signed the extension prior to turning 35, they might not have to absorb the cap hit if he retires."

Posted by: FrankM73 | June 18, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

True.

I still think that, excluding the first 10 minutes of game 5, the Caps gave a pretty d*mn good effort the last 3 games of the playoffs (the losses). They just lost.

Posted by: sgm3 | June 18, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The Caps, regardless of WHO they had played, would've lost because they weren't ready for the level of consistent effort it takes to win in the playoffs. So whether that lack of effort was displayed in PP results or whatever, this was a team who all season long had issues matching their work ethic to their superior skill levels. And you can't have any dropoff in effort in the playoffs if you want to have a long run. And yeah defensively, had we faced the Bruins or Flyers, their forwards would've given our D more fits than Montreal's did. Our D is more suited to playing a finesse type of team ala the Habs. You get bruising forecheckers bearing down on our defense and you'll see how quickly they crumble.

Posted by: cstanton1 | June 18, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The point is he's not wrong. Our power play was a strong point for us all year. It let us down in the playoffs. We played a few bad games, along with some good ones in our series. All they need to learn is to never let up, no matter what the score is in the game or in the series. Pittsburgh knows how to win and knows how to get those ugly goals, and they still lost to Montreal. Obviously, they shouldn't write off this loss as "Oh well, we did everything right, but got unlucky", but they don't need to do anything drastic either.

Posted by: TheDoubleAlex | June 18, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

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